Williams Condemns Trendy Classes 'Who Sabotage Marriage'

Article excerpt

Byline: STEVE DOUGHTY

THE Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday condemned the ' commentating classes of North London' for undermining marriage.

Dr Rowan Williams said the critics who talk down marriage fail to understand the stability it has given to families over generations.

And he told them that, while serial relationships and transient partnerships are fine for the wealthy chattering classes, the price is high for those who live less favoured lives.

However, the Archbishop's call for more support for marriage came on the day when the Church of England backed down from its own plan to encourage more couples to have church weddings.

A long-planned scheme to persuade more to marry by allowing couples a much wider choice of churches for their weddings was scaled back to spare the clergy too much work and to discourage ' consumerism' among couples.

Dr Williams's attack appeared aimed directly at New Labour and its trendy supporters living in fashionable areas of North London.

Tony Blair, who has presided over ten years of policies that have stripped away the legal rights that once went with marriage, lived in Islington and many of his close allies have been based nearby.

Key leftwing commentators associated with the area include the Guardian's Polly Toynbee, a Blair cheerleader who favours easier divorce and dislikes Christianity.

The Archbishop said in speech to mark National Marriage Week: 'A great deal of the running is made in the commentating and reflecting terms by people who do not perhaps fully see how much they are trading on the inherited capital and stability and yes, the prosaic heroism that has evolved over generations.

'The fluidity, changeability of relationships and the transience of marriage may look perfectly fine if you belong to the commentating classes of North London but you don't have to go many miles to see what the cost is for people who cannot take that sort of thing for granted. …