DAVID QUARRIE'S tribute to Dr Sentamu's modesty and commonsense (Letters, December 30) is admirable, but I must take exception to his comment about the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Dr Rowan Williams may lack the charisma and personal touch which endear us to our own Archbishop. He is by nature tactful, perhaps too tactful. But he has now spoken out plainly against the Iraq war, and with compassion for loss of life.

Also, by implication he has put religion back where it belongs, into politics. This is a more arduous and less dramatic business than personal evangelism, but it is no less necessary.

Here at home our police, our transport system, our health and social services, are all in need of more investment. But the millions and billions, under American pressure, are going to guns and missiles for distant places.

To pretend, as Mr Blair does, that all this is desperately necessary for our defence, as if we were still facing Germany in 1940 is absurd. And we are probably breeding as much terrorism as we try to contain.

Mr Blair, sack a few callous ministers and civil servants, and show a bit of Christian love towards us. Take your next holiday in Britain - and talk to people.

Charity begins at home. As an interviewee in one Manchester street said recently: "We should be policing our own streets, not streets in foreign places."

Roy Stevens, Willow Bank, New Earswick, York.