Justin Welby has only been head of the Church of England for 10 months and already he has faced criticism over his straying into politics.

But in his first address as Archbishop of Canterbury, he has outlined that he will not just talk about God, insisting that the Church is the glue which holds society together.

He was speaking from a youth training centre supported by the Church Urban Fund, which is the Church’s charity.

Paul Hackwood is executive director of the Church Urban Fund.

He told VoR that the archbishop recognised that to foster social justice, politics and religion cannot be separated: “It is absolutely fundamental that the Church involves itself in politics and has a voice and speaks up for those who are on the downside of the ways we organise our society.”

Archbishop Welby, is a former oil executive who has used his experience in the City to bolster his arguments against bankers, payday lenders and others.

In austerity Britain, he said that tackling poverty would be a priority for the Church.

The archbishop has been heavily criticised over the Church of England’s ownership of an £80,000 stake in Wonga, after his harsh criticism of the payday lender in the summer.

Paul Hackwood from the Church Urban Fund told VoR: “Because we have got such economic difficulties in the UK it is important that there are voices articulating the needs of the poor.”

The Archbishop is seen as an evangelical who has repeatedly spoken of the need for winning new converts and reversing declining congregations.

Earlier, Justin Welby said the Church would not find new worshippers “accidentally” and so had to set a clear target of filling more pews if it was to tackle the decline in church-going in Britain.

(Voice of Russia)