The Archbishop of Canterbury’s ‘Faith in the World’ Competition

“If we want to nurture a really articulate public argument about the great issues of our times, we have to make sure that younger citizens have the confidence to make themselves heard.  One of the most depressing things that can happen to young people is a climate, whether in school or out of it, that gives them the message that they’re not worth listening to…And if you believe that religious faith is one of the things that quite rightly gets people talking, for and against, it is important to help younger people make the connections between the issues of the day and the ideas and ideals associated with faith.  They may want to argue furiously against it or they may discover that it has more to say to them than they expected.  But it is wonderful when there is an environment in which those connections can be made.”  -Archbishop Rowan Williams, 15th January 2011.

Read the full article at:
Full details of the competition are available at:

How to enter
To enter you need to write an essay in response to one of the titles for your age group. The competition is open to all young people who were aged 13-21 on September 1st 2010. There are three age groups and the length of essay you should write depends on your age group. You should enter the category that reflects the age you were on September 1st 2010. The closing date is March 11th 2011.

Archbishop Rowan will be joined by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Cabinet Minister and Conservative Party Chairman; Benedict Brogan, Deputy Editor of the Daily Telegraph; the Revd Lucy Winkett, Rector of St. James’s, Piccadilly; and Jane Williams, theologian and author; on the judging panel for this prize, which has been made possible by the generous sponsorship of the Lambeth Fund.

The judges will award one prize in each age group, as follows:
Ages 13-15 – £250; ages 16-17 – £350; ages 18-21 – £500.
The winners will be invited to receive their prizes at a reception at Lambeth Palace. If the judges decide that there are other entries that also merit particular commendation, these entrants will also be invited to join the reception. Winning and highly commended entries will be published on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s website and extracts may also be published in The Daily Telegraph.

Essay titles
Age 13-15 (800 words maximum)
  • Do you need to be religious to be good?
  • Does God care about global warming?
  • The Bible says that ‘the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil’. (1 Timothy 6:10) Can money make you happy?
  • What are school assemblies for?
  • God cares for the poor. How can people of faith demonstrate this care?
Age 16-17 (1,500 words maximum)
  • How can one person improve the lives of the world’s poorest?
  • Why have chaplains in prisons?
  • “Ecological questions are increasingly being defined as issues of justice” (Archbishop Rowan Williams, Ebor Lecture, 25th March 2009). Should this change how we respond to environmental problems?
  • Should politicians ‘do God’?
  • What’s the point of different religions talking to each other?
Age 18-21 (2,500 words maximum)
  • Is believing more important than belonging?
  • Does God believe in the existence of society?
  • “That’s dialogue for me – the recognition of the serious.” (Archbishop Rowan Williams, Interview with The Hindu newspaper, 18th October 2010) What’s dialogue for you?
  • What is “good news” for the poor? How can we be part of this?
  • Is environmentalism a new religion?
Full details of how to enter and the entry form to accompany your essay can be found at:

Please feel free to pass along these details to any contacts you have who may be interested in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s ‘Faith in the World’ Competition.


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