Justin Welby, The Archbishop of Canterbury, has spoken about the sad day that will one day come to pass – The Queen’s funeral.
In an interview with Alastair Campbell for GQ, the Archbishop was asked if he loses sleep thinking he might have to preside over the proceedings.
“I do hope I don’t have to do that,” he said, adding he ‘didn’t lose sleep’ at the thought of the event.
Welby went on to praise Her Majesty – who is his boss as Head of the Church of England: “It is not something I want to talk about, but The Queen is the most extraordinary person, one of the most extraordinary people I have ever met, in every possible way.”
Mr Campell went on to ask if he thinks about the enormousness of the event – The Queen’s death – to which he replied: “Yes, I do. It’s enormous whoever does it – God willing someone else – because it is an enormous public event. But as a parish priest, at every funeral you think about the enormousness of it.”
“When it happens it will be the most extraordinary historic moment.”
Moving on to more religious matters, the archbishop was asked his stance on gay sex. “You know very well that is a question I can’t give a straight answer to. Sorry, badly phrased there. I should have thought that one through.”
Pressed on why, he said: “Because I don’t do blanket condemnation and I haven’t got a good answer to the question. I’ll be really honest about that. I know I haven’t got a good answer to the question.
“Inherently, within myself, the things that seem to me to be absolutely central are around faithfulness, stability of relationships and loving relationships.”
Gay marriage was legalised in the UK in 2016, but churches could ‘opt in’ to holding such ceremonies themselves; the Church of England voted against conducting gay weddings, but allows informal prayers for same-sex couples – not blessings.