The following copied from the news section of the Church of England website
Archbishop of Canterbury comments on British Airways
24 November 2006
At a press conference in Rome today, November 24, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, gave the following comments in response to questions about British Airways and the wearing of the cross by its uniformed staff.
On his own position, the Archbishop said:
“ … I said some weeks ago that I regarded it as absolutely basic that people of any faith should have the right to display the signs of their faith commitment in public; that’s the point from which I start. What I find deeply confusing about the present situation is the response of BA, which doesn’t seem to make it clear whether they’re simply talking about regulations, concerning a piece of jewellery or whether they are in some sense claiming that the cross is a source of offence.
“Now if BA is really saying or implying that the wearing of a cross in public is a source of offence, then I regard that as deeply offensive and, in a society where religious liberty and the expression of religious commitment is free, I regard it as something really quite serious. If they’re saying that it’s to do with matters of health and safety, I would question whether that is a sensible kind of regulation, whether in fact there really is a problem here, and I would ask them to look very seriously at this, given the enormous reaction of dismay that’s been caused in the Christian community.”
On flying to Rome with British Airways, Dr Williams said:
“All of this came up last weekend in its present form; I have a responsibility for proper use of the resources of staff and money and reorganising at short notice expensively and complicatedly doesn’t seem to me a responsible use given the time scale. I’ll have to be consulting with others in the Church of England about our whole attitude to BA in which, as you know, we have some financial investment; that’s a question that’s already been raised for discussion with the Church Commissioners in London.
“It’s just perhaps worth noting with some irony that amongst the duty-free jewellery items for sale are some crosses.”
My main problem over public displays of Christian faith is living up to them. Sometimes I wonder about taking the fish off my car if I'm going to be late for a meeting, but then decide it would just make me even later.....