News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

World News

Archbishop of Canterbury opens up about his experience of depression in new BBC programme

by Kelly Valencia

Most Rev Justin Welby has said his faith acted as a ‘safety net’ when he struggled with depression.

He described how it was “very odd” to have a “very deep sense” of God’s love while simultaneously feeling "a real, vicious sense of dislike of oneself".

The Archbishop of Canterbury made the remarks during the first episode of his new programme on BBC Radio 4, The Archbishop Interviews.

He explored the topics of faith, doubt and depression with bestselling author Elif Shafak.

Archbishop Justin said: "My own experience of depression - one of the symptoms of it is self-hatred, self-contempt, real, vicious sense of dislike of oneself," he said.

"And that seems very odd when it combines with also a deep sense that I'm loved by God. In my life, that expressed itself almost as a safety net.

"I would say in my prayers - I may be this terrible person, this failure as an Archbishop, whatever it is, but I know you know me better than I know myself and you still love me.

"And by that I am held."

He also shared that his daughter’s book sharing her experience of depression encouraged him to seek help and speak to others about his own struggle.

"She had a breakdown and very severe depression and still suffers from illness, and she's married now with two children.

"She wrote a beautiful book called 'I Thought There Would Be Cake'. In other words, when she was grown up, there'd be cake. And how different it was.

And in that there was a chapter about the need to be open to speak to others. And so I did.

"I went to get some help and that has made a huge difference."

The full episode is available on BBC Sounds.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email