Letter to Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury


   Acknowledged by Press Secretary 

Dear Justin,

You may just remember my name,  Summers OS (RHH) – I may have fined you for ‘socking in the street’ or doing something inappropriate up Judy’s Passage.  Johnny Cameron ( Harrow, Christ Church) , my foursomes partner at Swinley tells me you once sold him some derivatives –  ‘World’s Worst Banker’ we dub him,  losing the UK economy some £13 billion –  I am now his self-appointed moral guardian ; trying to install a touch more humility into an Old Harrovian is a slow game.

Leaving Eton

Leaving Eton early 1973

Talking of humility … one gathers that when you were obliged to say a few words at one of those William Waldegrave  / Tony Little reunions in College Chapel you opened by saying, “ my career at school was only distinguished by its mediocrity”  We like that, Justin.  My year included such luminaries as Nicky Wells and Nicky Gumbel whom you will recall from your Holy Trinity Brompton days.  Funnily enough,  I named my first daughter Pippa (now 26) after the latter’s wife née Hislop.

Nowadays I worship at Southwark Cathedral where also funnily enough,  Roger Royle (one of our vicars at school) is due to speak this coming Tuesday 27th at the Public Forum on ‘A Lonely Society’ Is this our Fate ?’ –  starts at 7p.m. if you are at a loose end.

Because I sometimes attend the church in lovely Farnham,  I was going to write to you (copying in the Bishop of Guildford) about the situation there – the parishioners have been without a shepherd since before Christmas,  ostensibly because Simon Reynolds ‘was looking after his ill sister’.  It turns out this was a fib –  he’s out on bail accused of stealing funeral money from 700 families in Barnsley and maybe Farnham too.  Again funnily enough, my old nanny Glenys Phillips thought highly of the bloke and he attended her memorial service at St.Ffraid’s, Trearddur Bay along with Meurig Williams.  I think they both trained with little Leanne Roberts,  one of our current Canons at Southwark.  One hopes that Farnham Church will soon have someone better at the helm.

For my sins,  and after a disparate life mostly spent baking and mini-cabbing,  I have recently been appointed Chairman of Being Alongside/APCMH (Pastoral Care, Mental Health) –  they do great work and we have Stephen Sykes (ex Bishop of Ely) as our Patron (sadly died recently) . Justin,  perhaps our paths will cross one day.

Meanwhile, I remain

Yours in Christ,

Jamie Summers.

No reply ever received from Justin

4 thoughts on “Letter to Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury”

  1. One has to wonder how it is that our modern life has evolved to where we find ourselves today.

    The disappearance of customer service (banks, utilities, and airlines to name just a few) driven only by cost cutting and a desire to remove human contact from the process – although well done to John Barton for finally accepting that a reply might be no bad thing.

    And the worst of all? Government agencies! Agencies such as the Passport Office or HM Revenue & Customs. The latter is now seemingly unable to carry out the simplest of tasks yet is permitted to take the line that the fault lies entirely with the hapless but honest taxpayer. Such is the contempt in which Government holds its ‘customers’ – you and me. The ones who pay their salaries.

    Politicians who cannot accept even the smallest mistake and in some cases, Mr Blair, rather bigger mistakes. So the great British public becomes ever larger, swelled by numbers of arrivals which our Government is incapable of counting. Arrivals who expect votes, healthcare and benefits – and get them! The majority of voters may yet adopt a ‘who cares’ policy until quite possibly Nigel Farage or Boris Johnson hold high office. If for no other reason than they have learnt the disarming tactic of ‘Oops, bit of a cock up there. Mea culpa, time to move on, sorry about that’. In politics today, a little honesty goes a long way if only for its scarcity value.

    So come on you publishers and give Jamie Summers a print run. And let the dialogue/fun begin – who knows where it could lead?

  2. Thanks Amado. As I never got a reply from Justin personally (perhaps the Press Secretary did not do as he promised) and as the situation in Farnham remains unchanged, Part 2 is called for methinks.

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