I wouldn’t trade places with the Archbishop of Canterbury despite the prestige and the influence that comes with his high office. It has its advantages of course; presiding at the recent coronation service being one of them. And to be fair Justin Welby did a very good job both in the preparations that led up to it and on the day itself.

Things have not gone so well for him when it comes to same sex relationships however, with reports that the vast majority of worshipping Anglicans worldwide have rejected his authority. I can certainly understand why they’ve done that, although I guess he will find it hard to take given his desire to enhance church unity. Squaring circles is never easy.

And now he’s facing criticism because of his trenchant criticism of the government’s migration plans which he says will do “great damage” to the UK’s reputation. He obviously believes that the Migration Bill will not stop small boat crossing and fails in our moral responsibility towards refugees. I couldn’t agree with him more, which is why I’m pleased to see that he’s piling pressure on the government to adopt a more humane and practical policy.

There are those who will disagree with these arguments of course. Conservative Lord Forsyth for example has said that he was “yet to hear” a solution to stop boat crossings from critics of the bill. While congratulating the archbishop for his “fantastic job” at the Coronation he added that while he agreed with him on spiritual matters, they disagreed on the bill.

There will be those who will suggest that the church should stay out of politics, but that’s a daft thing to say. Old Testament prophets like Amos understood this which is why they declared that God expects certain standards from every society, and that there are no opt out clauses for anyone. Christians believe, or at least they should believe, that there is no such thing as a ‘sacred-secular divide’. God created everything and so He has the right to pass judgement on everything we say and do.

The New Testament is equally clear. Governments of whatever persuasion, whether they like it or not, have been instituted by God and need to be told that they are His servants. Given this they need to evaluate their policies and their programmes to check that God is happy with them. It’s for this very reason Christians have been given the responsibility of challenging those who govern us. We are to pray for them too whatever their track record on political persuasion. Winston Churchill certainly detected a ‘Guiding Hand’ at work so why shouldn’t we?

I sometimes get the feeling that our role is somewhat similar to that of local newspapers such as the Cambrian News. We need to do all we can to foster links within our community, celebrate the good and share the sad. We must be prepared to challenge the status quo too, even if that brings its kickbacks.

We are in the ‘truth’ business and have a duty to check the facts and argue our case albeit graciously and respectfully.

We need to know what others are thinking also. Our knowledge is limited, and our perspectives are restricted. In fact, I am very happy to admit that I have learned most by listening to those who have disagreed with me.

But true as that is I am confident that the Christian understanding of ‘life, the universe and everything’ will ultimately prevail. History is proof of it and just as importantly the Bible has predicted it.