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Anglo European Student Meets New Archbishop

Article published by the Brentwood Gazette:

Esther Brown, a sixth-former at the Anglo European School in lngatestone, met Justin Welby while on work experience. Here, the 16- year-old explains why she wrote to The Times in his defence following his appointment as the next Archbishop of Canterbury.
Her letter…

Sir, I was fortunate enough to meet Bishop Welby while on work experience in the House of Lords earlier t his year.  IRONICALLY it was my working class step'father who landed me the work experience in the House of Lords. When he came home, dressed in overalls, from fitting a boiler for Labour peer Lord Clarke of Hamp­ stead Ibegged him to put in a good word forme. During my time in the House of Lords, I was present for the Daily Questions in which Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham and the Archbishop of Canterbury  to be, was raised  to  the peerage. This was one of the most extraordinary things, I was in the balcony at the time  and  Bishop Welby and I caught each other's eye and exchanged a smile. We later met formally  in  the Lobby when  he was being congratulated, Lord Clarke introduced us and the Bishop replied something along the lines of "yes, we have met. This  young  lady  smiled  at  me from the balcony, for which I am thankful."

It wasn't until I read that he had been tipped to be the next Arch­ bishop  of Canterbury  that  I thought  to myself "Wow. And to think I met him!" But before even being in the job for  a  day he  was criticised  for  being an Old Etonian and there­ fore an "irrefutable" member of Cameron's clique.

Society's perception of the indi­ viduals who dominate the top jobs appears  to be  that  they  care  as little  about the working class as they do about "the price  of but­ ter". Genuine It was  the  presence  of these views in the newspapers that led me to write a letter to The Times, which was published  on Monday November 12. I argued that Bish­ op Welby had struck me as a very genuine man who I feel will make an exemplary Archbishop, anct to quote Karl Barth "preach •with a Bible in one hand and a news­ paper in t)le other".

I cannot help but be concerned that as a society we•are in danger of having inverted prejudices. It is argued  that  those  who hold the top jobs in the media, sports and politics should represent the pop­ ulation. But is it not naive to say, for example, that  as half of the population are women, half of the MPs should be women? What if a woman does not represent my views as well as a man?
Is it fair to deny the man this job
He struck a very genuine man and I feel he will make an exemplary Archbishop. However, I cannot help but feel it a shame that, by some, he is already bei ng criticised for being an Old Etohian and therefore part of David Cameron's clique. I
attend a state sixth form and am from a working­ class background, but I am concerned that as a society we are in danger of having inverted prejudices. I am sure Bishop Welby is the best man for the job and I hope people can see this is more important than his education.

Esther Brown
lngatestone, Essex

because of something that is out of his control? Is this not exactly the same as being sexist, or classist, or racist? Therefore I  believe that  man should be, in the words of Martin Luther King, "judged by the con­ tent of their character". And with the criteria in mind I concluded that  Bishop Welby has the qual­ities to do the job well.