The Archbishop of Canterbury will call on the Government to fix the UK’s “broken” care system in his New Year message.
The Most Rev Justin Welby will use the message to focus on what his team say he believes is “one of the most pressing challenges we face in the UK – social care”.
In his message, aired on BBC 1 on New Year’s Day, the Archbishop, the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, will say: “We know our care system is broken, but it doesn’t have to be. We can rise to the challenge of fixing it. That means action from all of us – you, me, families, communities, and Government.”
He will say that “caring goes to the heart of what it means to be human”, adding: “It’s hard, but it can also be the most life-giving thing we ever do. It comes back to that essential lesson – we need each other.”
The Archbishop, who visited MHA Bradbury Grange, a residential care home in Whitstable, Kent, for his New Year’s message.
Sam Monaghan, the chief executive of Methodist Homes (MHA), the UK’s largest charity care provider for older people, said: “We were so happy to welcome Archbishop Justin to MHA Bradbury Grange and to share a typical day with him.
“Our residents loved having the opportunity to meet and talk with him, and he also spent time talking to our care team. Staff shared with him how they support everyone living at the home and what it involves to provide good quality care. The visit meant so much to us.”
The message will reflect on the importance of caring for others, especially those who are old or unwell, as well as the mounting pressures facing frontline carers.
This is not the first time that the Archbishop has been critical of the Government. In his Easter sermon at Canterbury Cathedral, he said there were “serious ethical questions about sending asylum seekers overseas”.