Archbishop, Justin Welby (Blake Ezra Photography)

Archbishop, Justin Welby (Blake Ezra Photography)

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said Christians had “much to learn” from the way in which Jews recognise the 10-day period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

 In a letter to Jewish friends and colleagues, Archbishop Justin Welby paid tribute to the “spiritual intensity” of the Aseret Yemei Teshuvah – or Ten Days of Repentance.

“I know this is not a time of frivolity, but of candid introspection,” he said.

“Christians and others have much to learn from the seriousness and solemnity of this time.” Welby, whose paternal grandfather was a German Jewish immigrant spoke earlier this year about the “unacceptable” spike in violence against Jews.

He has repeatedly warned that Christians are also facing persecution in the Middle East, including Iraq, where they have been targeted by extremists from the Islamic State terror group.

“Together, we have no room for naïve optimism,” he said, adding that he looked forward to working with Jewish religious leaders in the coming year.