Preaching the gospel of John Lewis

On Easter Day, John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, will be standing up to his waist in water inviting allcomers to renounce the devil before plunging them in his open-air baptismal tank.

Last week he settled for renouncing John Hutton, secretary of state for business, enterprise and regulatory reform, who has said we need more millionaires and should celebrate the freedom to get rich.

“To celebrate wealth for its own sake is such a strange view,” says Sentamu. “We should celebrate creativity, people who expand our horizons to become more loving and more caring, not celebrate people who are driving big cars. Wealth creation is in order to improve the lives of all, not just for the individual.”

If he rejects the Gospel of John Hutton, he is nonetheless a firm believer in the Gospel of John Lewis, which last week announced profits of £379m and revealed that its 69,000 staff ”“ partners in the business ”“ will receive bonuses worth 10 weeks’ pay.

“That is what I am looking for: the John Lewis model,” he says. “It’s not about making more and more millionaires, because there is no evidence that these millionaires put back what they get out.”

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