Not for the first time, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has found himself at the centre of a storm as result of his highly charged political comments.
In a speech to trade unionists last week he hit out companies such as Amazon over their tax affairs and branded zero hours contracts “the reincarnation of an ancient evil”.
No sooner had he done so than it was revealed that the Church of England had invested heavily in Amazon.
And it has emerged that people working within Church of England properties are on zero hours contracts.
Canterbury Cathedral is one of them. Spokesman Jane Walker told the Journal: “Flexible contracts, including zero hours contracts, have been used in specific situations such as those for certain seasonal roles around our peak visiting times and in the Cathedral Lodge Hotel in the Precincts.
“Our use of flexible contracts respects the rights of all parties and the contracts are offered in strict accordance with employment law.”
Mr Welby made his speech at the 150th TUC conference, receiving a standing ovation for his comments on the gig economy and zero hours contracts.
“It is the reincarnation of ancient evil,” he said. “Today there are some who view that kind of oppression of the employed as a virtue.”
He did not apologise for straying into politics. “The Bible is political from one end to the other,” he said.
On tax, Mr Welby said: “‘Not paying taxes speaks of the absence of commitment to our shared humanity, to solidarity and justice. If you earn money from a community, you should pay your share of tax.
“They don’t pay a real living wage, so the taxpayer must support their workers with benefits; and having leeched off the taxpayer once they don’t pay for our defence, for security, for stability, for justice, for health, for equality, for education.”
Amazon has insisted that it pays all the tax it is due to pay while Mr Welby has drawn criticism from Conservatives who accused him of “parroting Labour policies”.