24 year old blogger, Emily Birkinshaw has written an open letter to the Archbishop of York, the Right Rev'd John Sentamu, following his inaugural column entry in the first edition of the newspaper, the Sun on Sunday.
In the letter Emily outlines how since she was baptised on Easter Day, 2006, on the streets of York by the Archbishop, she has worked for a church, undertaken mission work and set-up a children's charity, but has now 'lost her faith'.
Emily expresses to the Archbishop that although she would no longer consider herself a Christian, she is 'massively disappointed' in his choice to write the column. She goes on to outline how she found a disconnection between the Archbishop's strong, publicly displayed ethical standpoints and his decision to write for 'a newspaper founded on the principles of corruption and lies.'
Furthermore, Emily says, she struggles with the fact that the Church of England has investments worth £9 million in News International and BSkyB. Explaining that she sees this as hypocritical. Emily asks how the church can be 'invested into the soft porn industry' whilst simultaneously preaching a message of sexually morality?
How do you feel about the Archbishop's decision to become a columnist for the Sun on Sunday newspaper?
The full text of Emily's blog post is found below:
Dear John (Or Archbishop John Sentamu, as you're more commonly known),
Hello, it's me, Emily. You may remember me from the time you baptised me on Easter Sunday:
I'm writing to you because I can't fail to notice that you've decided to write a column in the Sun on Sunday. I have to say, even though I'm no longer a Christian, I'm massively disappointed in this choice. You were always a member of clergy who I respected. You had strong ethical standpoints and you weren't afraid to show them. You chopped up your dog collar in an act of political protest. you've always been outspoken. I really did respect you.
And yet, you choose to write for the Sun on Sunday, a "newspaper" founded on the priciples of corruption and lies. I struggle enough with the fact that the Church of England, an organisation I used to be associated with, an organisation I worked for, has £9 million of shares in News International and BSkyB. Not just because it means that the Church are invested in the press, which obviously impacts whether or not that press is able to speak freely, but also because of the hypocritical nature of the Church being invested into the soft porn industry. I wonder if you could explain to me how it's ok for the church to invest into soft porn whilst simultaneously telling Christians that they shouldn't have sex before marriage?
But the worst thing is, you're now a contributor to the Sun on Sunday, to something associated with hacking and scandal and lies and poor journalism. I'm assuming that you'll say you're attempting to communicate with the people, that you're reaching them where they're at, that this is an opportunity to speak to people on their own level, but I can't help but feel dismay and confusion about why you'd make this decision. I no longer choose to associate with the church, I no longer maintain anything close to a Christian faith, but I don't understand your decision on this.
I'd very much appreciate it if you'd take the time to respond.