Archbishop of Canterbury Criticizes ‘Woke’ Language in Church Job Advert

Archbishop of Canterbury Criticizes ‘Woke’ Language in Church Job Advert

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has criticized the language used in a Church of England job advertisement for an ‘anti-racism’ officer.

The advert, posted by the Diocese of Birmingham, sought a candidate for the role of ‘deconstructing whiteness’ officer across various areas in the West Midlands.

Welby expressed concerns about the terminology used, suggesting it should have been presented more plainly.

Archbishop’s Reaction:

Upon discovering the advertisement, Archbishop Welby questioned its meaning, likening it to the satirical TV series ‘W1A,’ which humorously portrays bureaucratic absurdity.

He emphasized the importance of clarity in communication, especially in job adverts within the Church of England, which serves diverse communities across 15,000 parishes.

Diocese’s Advertisement:

The Diocese of Birmingham, under Bishop Michael Volland’s leadership, advertised a position for an ‘anti-racism’ officer tasked with ‘deconstructing whiteness’ as part of its racial justice unit.

This move reflects the diocese’s commitment to addressing racial inequality and promoting diversity within its institutions.

Criticism from Within the Church:

However, Reverend Dr. Ian Paul, an associate minister in Nottingham, criticized the approach taken by the Church, arguing that it fosters guilt and divisiveness.

He highlighted the contentious nature of terms like ‘deconstructing whiteness’ and ‘anti-racism,’ suggesting that they contribute to a negative environment rather than fostering inclusivity.

Alternative Perspectives:

Paul advocated for a more inclusive and welcoming approach, emphasizing the importance of valuing individuals irrespective of their race or background.

He cautioned against importing divisive concepts like critical race theory from the United States and urged the Church to adopt a more constructive strategy for addressing racial issues.

Reparations Fund Controversy:

The Church of England has faced criticism regarding its response to historical injustices, particularly concerning its £100 million slavery reparations fund.

A report recommending an increase to £1 billion prompted mixed reactions, with Archbishop Welby initially expressing support but later indicating reservations about accepting the recommendations.


The controversy surrounding the job advertisement and the reparations fund underscores the complexities inherent in addressing racial inequality within the Church of England.

While there is a consensus on the importance of tackling systemic injustices, there are divergent views on the most effective strategies to achieve this goal.

Moving forward, constructive dialogue and collaboration will be essential in navigating these sensitive issues.

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