Welby's message of hope after 2016 leaves world with more 'fear and division'


The Archbishop of Canterbury will speak of the power of God to chase away "the fear of terror" and the "economies of despair" as he delivers his Christmas sermon.

The Most Rev Justin Welby, leader of the Church of England and the global communion of 85 million Anglican Christians, will also speak of the importance of God against a backdrop of a year that has left the world "less predictable and certain ... more awash with fear and division".

The Archbishop will deliver his sermon during a Eucharist service at Canterbury Cathedral at 11am on Christmas Day.

He is expected to say: "The end of 2016 finds us all in a different kind of world, one less predictable and certain, which feels more awash with fear and division.

"Uncertainty in the midst of much, but far from universal, prosperity is a sign of our trust being in the wrong things.

"It tells us that our values are in the wrong place ... Economic progress, technological progress, communication progress hasn't resulted in economic justice. It hasn't delivered glory for us.

"It is amongst those on the edge, those ignored, and amongst persecuted believers that I have most clearly seen the glory of God this year, a glory that chases away the fear of terror, the power of death, and the economies of despair.

"Let me tell you about a bomb-injured woman in Pakistan, bereft of her youngest child in the blast, who said, 'One thing we know, Jesus really is the Good Shepherd.'

"And a lonely elderly woman in London, and a trafficked teenager in Watford, both of whom spoke recently at a carol service - they have seen the glory of God in Jesus and he has brought transformation to their lives.

"How then do we find glory? The only place and person who can bring glory to us is the child of Bethlehem who became the victim on the cross."