ARCHBISHOP Justin Welby says: “There should be exams for those who want to work in the banking industry.”

He thinks bank employees should be overseen by a professional body: “Banks have the capacity to have such an impact on the wider economy, so specific training should be necessary. Banks are incredibly complicated things. It is one of the most demanding and complicated areas of management going. The idea that people can hold hugely responsible positions in them without any kind of formal training seems to a number of us as quite surprising.”

I wouldn’t normally comment on the jolly excursions of senior clergymen into the refined areas of high finance but, as someone who worked as a priest in the City of London for 14 years and as a former chaplain to the Stock Exchange, perhaps I might be permitted a few modest remarks? A friend, an investment banker of vast experience, phoned me to say he was surprised to hear the Archbishop speak as he did.

My City friend said: “The Archbishop ought to know that anywhere the public is exposed to bankers’ advice, they are required to be licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority, formerly by the Financial Standards Authority, which requires examination.

“The fact that these examinations somehow let through people who turn out to be incompetent, or worse, is analogous to the way that money-laundering prevention procedures cause endless hassle to honest people but do not prevent rogues laundering money.”

What if the boot were on the other foot? I can imagine a City banker taking a look at the doings of today’s clergy and exclaiming: “Theology, the conduct of liturgy and pastoral care are incredibly complicated things.

You would think that those appointed to discharge these duties would betray some sign that they had been educated to the task.”

In my experience most modern clergy do not understand the language in which the New Testament is written. Headpieces filled with the latest psychobabble about “relationships”

and “diversity,” they wouldn’t recognise St Augustine or St Thomas Aquinas if they met them coming out of Tesco’s. And the lack of all reverence and dignity with which so many of them inflict their “jiving for Jesus” liturgies on their congregations is enough to put you off churchgoing for eternal life.

Why is it that the bishops and archbishops can’t keep their episcopal fingers from picking and stealing over matters of economics, politics, sociology – anything but Christianity?

A previous archbishop, during a miners’ strike, asked prime minister Stanley Baldwin if the church might be allowed to mediate.

Baldwin replied: “Of course, so long as you’ll let the executive of the National Union of Mineworkers rewrite the Athanasian Creed.”

I expect any minute to receive a shoal of emails telling me that Justin Welby was once an eminent City executive himself and that as such he has earned the right to harangue the bankers and generally regale the rest of us with his superior navigations of the detours of Threadneedle Street.

Archbishop Robert Runcie was a distinguished Second World War tank commander, awarded the military cross for courage. But I don’t remember him pitching his tent outside the Ministry of Defence and giving exceedingly well-meant, but entirely spurious, advice to our generals about the way to conduct any future European war.