Rowan Williams: ‘We British are known for standing up for the underdog’

As we mark the 60th anniversary of Christian Aid Week, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and Chair of Christian Aid, Dr Rowan Williams, has urged the country not to turn inwards but to look outwards as Britain forges a new relationship with the world.

He said: “Britain’s political and social landscape is in flux. We face great choices about the soul and future of our nation. For many it is a time of uncertainty and fear, for others an opportunity for change and optimism. But I believe that all of us as individuals can play a vital role in shaping our nation. We can choose to turn inwards and struggle more and more urgently to protect ourselves; or we can look outwards, recognising that our good is bound up with that of others.”

On the UK aid budget he said: “We British are famously known for standing up for the underdog and standing firm when things get tough. We do not only look out for those less fortunate than ourselves; we want to meet halfway those working hard to stand on their own two feet. Effective aid is not about creating dependence but helping people become valued partners and co-workers for a safe and equitable world.

“The British public are rightly proud that our great nation hasn’t turned its back on the world’s poorest people.  As we enter the election period and discuss the future of our country, debate the terms of Brexit and our relationship with the EU, as we also form our new relationship with the world, it is time to wear our aid budget as a badge of honour – one that sets a standard for others to follow.”

Joe Ware

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