Monday, 5 March 2012

Dear John Letter: The Reply

I know a lot of you were wondering whether or not my letter would get a reply... well, it did. It arrived last week, and this is what the Archbishop had to say to me:

"Dear Emily,
Thank you for your e-mail regarding my column in The Sun last Sunday.

I do remember you from your baptism outside York Minster in 2006. I have for a long time wondered what happened to you and what you are doing. Thank you for getting in touch. However, I am saddened to hear that since that time you feel you have lost your faith. As far as I know God has not abandoned you. You are still dearly loved.

I write articles for a variety of newspapers across a wide spectrum. For example, in recent months I have written in The Guardian, The Observer, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, The Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday, The Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, The Yorkshire Post and The York Press, amongst other titles.

I will continue to use these opportunities to spread the Gospel message as widely as possible.

I hope that you had the opportunity to read my full piece from last week's Sun. I have attached a copy for information in case you have not.

One of the main points I was making is that we need to remember that God loves us and forgives us no matter how many times we mess up, and whether we deserve it or not. That applies no matter who we are.

It is clear from the Leveson Inquiry that there have been serious failings at News International and other news organisations for a number of years. We need to encourage a media in this country which is both responsible and fair. We also need to encourage people to make fresh starts. My writing does not mean condoning what was illegal and scandalous in the past.

All proceeds from articles I write are donated to local charities - in this instance, St Leonard's Hospice in York.

Please do keep in touch. Why not come for a cup of tea?

I appreciate you taking the time to send me your concerns. I will pray for you that God will reveal himself anew in your life and strengthen you.

+Sentamu Ebor:"

And before you ask, yes I might go for tea.
RSS Feed | Bloglovin | Facebook | Google+ | Twitter


  1. I think that is a phenomenally wonderful letter actually. Definitely go for tea. I lost my faith a long time ago and have no desire to get it back but when I was doubting, this would have meant a lot to me.

  2. That's a kind letter. I just hope he won't try to bring you back to church. Also, what bothers me a little is this "we need to remember that God loves us and forgives us no matter how many times we mess up, and whether we deserve it or not." So he will love and forgive a murderer, a rapist, a child molestor? He can't be serious! It would be rather disturbing if a "kind and just god" would love everyone equally, no matter how horribly the things they have done.
    Anyway, enjoy your tea with him, I can't wait to hear about your experience :)

    1. To Anon. Mar 5, 1012 11:12 AM

      The Archbishop is a Christian, so you can hardly expect him to start criticising God in an letter! As for having tea, it's hard to imagine what Emily and John might say to each other. He's explained his position re his column in the Sun, so what's left to say? It must be flattering to get a letter from an Archbiship, but if you've left his religion behind, a meeting between the two of you would surely be rather awkward. Religion would have to be off-limits because otherwise the Archbishop could be accused of trying to 're-convert' you! I suppose he lives in a rather grand house, so the conversation could focus on architecture....

    2. "So he will love and forgive a murderer, a rapist, a child molestor? He can't be serious! It would be rather disturbing if a "kind and just god" would love everyone equally, no matter how horribly the things they have done."

      You seem to have seriously misunderstood God, which saddens me. God is all-loving, and although it's impossible for us to comprehend, he does love everyone. Question it by all means, but don't try to put God's awesome power and love into an earthy perspective/justice system. There is so much rubbish going on in the world, but God doesn't pick and choose who to forgive and who to not. Jesus Christ died to save all of our sins, not just the people who do the 'less bad sins'. What makes you (I'm assuming you haven't raped/murdered here) more worthy to be forgiven and loved than someone else? We all sin, I know I do. It's God working within our hearts when we need it that can save a murderer, not leaving them out in the cold spiritually.
      I don't expect you to agree with me, but please take a moment to consider it.

      Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

  3. Brilliant letter!

    1. Anonymous March 5 :Looks like you have completely missed the point of the Gospel message then - don't worry, though, you're one of many, outside and inside the church. No. Wait a minute - do worry, because your view of God is lacking compassion and forgiveness. You're missing out on a lot of peace in your life.

  4. That is a lovely letter and obviously personal to you, rather than a standard reply. Great respect to him for doing that!

  5. I would plead with her rather to get saved the first time, since she couldn't have known the Lord, if she now doesn't believe..... once you are saved there is nothing that can snatch you out of the Lord's hands. Please repent and trust in Jesus as your Saviour alone.... for the first time. In no deeds, in no church, but trust in Jesus, who died for sinners ( all of them) and will forgive all who come to Him.

  6. It would be interesting to hear you explain what kind of God it was, that you stopped believing in. (I suspect John doesn't believe in that kind of God either.) Personally, I find faith and doubt co-mingling together all the time. The people who worry me, are the ones who are so damn certain about everything...and that includes Richard Dawkins.

  7. That is quite a gracious letter. I'm impressed.

    BTW... Redemption is the element of scripture that sings to me.

  8. But he doesn't address the issue of how the church can invest in companies that are questionable. There are several funds out there with ethical filters to ensure that the church (or other like minded organisations) then only invest in 'clean' organisations. Well worth further discussionw with John or whoever...

  9. Did you go for a cuppa? Would love to hear what happened if you did.



Your comments and thoughts are really appreciated :) Thank you for taking the time to chat xx