George Pitcher, who until September was secretary for public affairs to the Archbishop of Canterbury, has written a column in the Church Times that lambastes the Church of England’s PR people.
‘The truth is that there really are some top operators in media and public affairs at Church House and elsewhere, but there are also those who wouldn't last 20 minutes in the public sector, let alone in private enterprise,’ writes Pitcher in the column that is published today.
‘For these people, journalists and politicians are either mad, bad or dangerous to know. They might have Wendy Cope's "Never trust a journalist" poem pinned to their corkboard. Some of the ordained, shamefully, calculate that three to five years in such a role is worth ten to 12 years of that boring old parish work in their journey of entitlement to a deanery or the senior common room of an Oxbridge college.’
Pitcher was formerly The Daily Telegraph’s religion editor and was also a founder of Luther Pendragon. He is an Anglican priest, who serves his ministry at St Bride's, Fleet Street, in London – the ‘journalists' church’.
In the same article, Pitcher adds that many religious journalists are ‘a slough of mediocrity that makes the parliamentary lobby look like a bunch of obsessive sticklers for the truth’. Pitcher goes on to state that the union of these two professional media functions is ‘a marriage made in hell’.