26 Dec 2010

Archbishop questions whether rich are sharing the pain

10:06 am on 26 December 2010

The Archbishop of Canterbury has used his Christmas sermon to question whether the richest people are bearing their share of the economic downturn.

In his Christmas Day sermon at Canterbury Cathedral, Dr Rowan Williams said Britain will be able to cope with the economic fallout only if people are confident that the hardship is being shared fairly.

"We shall have that confidence only if there are signs that everyone is committed to their neighbour, that no-one is just forgotten, that no interest group or pressure group is able to opt out," he said.

"That confidence isn't in huge supply at the moment, given the massive crises of trust that have shaken us all in the last couple of years and the lasting sense that the most prosperous have yet to shoulder their load," Dr Williams added.

Citing Prime Minister David Cameron's "big society" concept, he said everyone had to be ready to meet that challenge, and to restore "mutual trust".