Former Bishop of Durham Justin Welby admits doubts about existence of God

Former Bishop of Durham Justin Welby said he had moments of doubt but was certain about the existence of Jesus

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire Justin Welby Archbishop of Canterbury
Justin Welby Archbishop of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury has made the extraordinary revelation that he sometimes questions the existence of God.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby, the senior bishop in England, said there are moments when he questions his own faith - even when he is praying.

Asked whether he ever doubted his faith, the Archbishop, who is the former Bishop of Durham, said: “Yes I do. There are moment where you think ‘Is there a God? Where is God?’”

He revealed such questions had most recently hit him while he was out on a morning jog with his dog.

“The other day I was praying over something as I was running and I ended up saying to God: ‘Look, this is all very well but isn’t it about time you did something – if you’re there’,” he told the BBC.

He quickly added that he was aware it was not the sort of thing the Archbishop of Canterbury should say.

The former oil executive said he could understand that Christians have trouble explaining why God allows suffering in the world, and said Christianity did onot have the answer as to why God allowed it

“We turn the tide in a number of ways,” he said.

“We know about Jesus, we can’t explain all the questions in the world, we can’t explain about suffering, we can’t explain loads of things but we know about Jesus. We can talk about Jesus – I always do that because most of the other questions I can’t answer.”

Later in the interview, Welby said he was certain about the existence of Jesus, even talking about his presence beside him.

He added: “It is not about feelings, it is about the fact that God is faithful and the extraordinary thing about being a Christian is that God is faithful when we are not.

Asked what he did when life got challenging, Welby said: “I keep going and call to Jesus to help me, and he picks me up.”


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer