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Good Friday: Archbishop Of Canterbury Justin Welby Makes Thought For The Day Debut

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JUSTIN WELBY
Justin Welby admitted the religious slot did not fit with his morning plans | PA

The new Archbishop of Canterbury has made his debut on Radio 4's religious slot Thought for the Day - and admitted he hardly ever listens to it.

Questioned by presenters on the Today programme after giving his address, the Most Rev Justin Welby said it was not "deliberate", but tuning in to the daily feature did not fit in with his morning schedule.

Told they could not let him go from his Good Friday appearance without asking him a question, Archbishop Welby, who is spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion as well as head of the Church of England, replied: "Oh dear."

Asked if reports that he never listens to the religious slot were true, he said: "Yes, it's not deliberate. I've got nothing against you, I think you are wonderful, you are absolutely marvellous right across the Today programme, without exception.

"But, it just doesn't fit in with what I am doing in the morning. Never would be an exaggeration, but I do very occasionally, but it is very rare."

Speaking from a "snowy Kent", the Archbishop told of two news stories he had seen this week about the Cypriot banking crisis.

"Good editing of that paper made me see two views, the impact was more powerful because neither made any comment, they just told the story.

"In the different accounts of the crucifixion there is a similar grim sense of factual narrative. The remorseless process of crucifixion is recounted sparingly."

He added: "Good Friday is an extraordinary day. Whoever you are, whether rulers and rich or ordinary people dealing with the worst of times, the death of Jesus is both a challenge and a promise of hope."

Archbishop Welby will play the theme tune from the BBC sitcom The Vicar of Dibley when he makes his radio presenting debut on Easter Sunday by hosting Classic FM breakfast programme. The one-off Easter special will feature a selection of classical favourites and music inspired by the Easter story.