Stay away from the choir, says Archbishop

Stay away from the choir, says Archbishop


norman lebrecht

December 20, 2020

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has urged the vulnerable and the elderly to give church a miss this Christmas.

For those who do go, he urged greatest care with self-distancing, telling them to stay away from the choir and their friends.

‘Wave happily to people and go home,’ he said.

England today recorded its highest level of new Covid infections since the pandemic began.


  • The Church is Useless says:

    Silly man. He is one of the worst Archbishops the C of E has ever had. and that’s saying something…

    • Geoff says:

      It’s hard for me to see how this comment, or the commenting person’s tag “the church is useless” contributes to reasoned debate.
      Perhaps a sign of the times that eight people apparently liked this comment.
      Times of a swathe of people who don’t seem to value reasoned debate but seem to stick to huddling together inside tribal groups of people who see things only their way, behind walls over which insults are hurled at those who think or behave differently.
      Quite often this is in the name of liberal humanism or “tolerance” too.
      Ironic, and a loss for everyone really IMHO.

      • John Borstlap says:

        You are absolutely right. That comment is totally useless and a waste of typing energy and reading efforts. Whatever objection one could have against any religious organisation or community, one should respect it, or come with arguments if it invites for criticism, or ignore it, or let oneself be converted.

    • Maria says:

      So many of us don’t think so. He doesn’t have the power of a pope, and does a really good job. He also knows suffering and great loss in life, and has made great strides to reach out to the Catholic Archbishop of England and Wales, and the Chief Rabbi. Never hace ecumenical relations like that been so good – and keeping away from the choir, as on telly yesterday, was our British sense of humour being missed again by some on here! Made many of us laugh.

      • Marfisa says:

        If ‘keep away from the choir’ was meant to be humorous, it would have been in poor taste, given the activities of a small minority of the Anglican clergy.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    I’m not crazy about the Catholic Church in general, or Archbishops in particular, but Justin Welby gives excellent advice here.
    (And before the downvoters sharpen their knives, I am a confirmed Catholic, which gives me the right to criticize if I so choose.)

    • Peter Phillips says:

      Just for the record, Welby is an Anglican, not Catholic, prelate.

    • Hayne says:

      You have the right to criticize period.

    • Maria says:

      Justin Welby is the Archbishop of Canterbury, Anglican and head of the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Church, but not like Pope Francis. Vincent Nichols is the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, a Cardinal, and head of the Catholic Church in England & Wales.

    • Greg Bottini says:

      My sincere apologies to all, and particularly Justin Welby, for my uber-thoughtless mistake re: the Archbishopric of Canterbury. I should know better, and I regret any ill feelings that my statement may have caused.
      In any case, Welby’s advice is good and hopefully people will follow it.

  • John Borstlap says:

    The clergy’s increasing trend of wearing frivolous headgear is becoming a source of serious worry.

  • John Borstlap says:

    The saying ‘Stay away from the choir’ is, in the light of some recent religious indecency scandals, burdened with rather unexpected associations.