Speaking at a Christian conference, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said that popular opinion on equal marriage is “not a case for changing obedience to God”.

Addressing over 6,000 people at the conference, he said it would be “foolish”, to ignore the “revolution” of same-sex marriage coming into law in England and Wales.

He acknowledged that the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, which has now received Royal Assent, had support from all parties, but said that was not enough for Christians to change from their “obedience to God”.

Archbishop Welby voted against equal marriage in the House of Lords, and had said he could hear the “roar of revolution”, on listening to debate around the issue.

The Church of England had opposed the same-sex marriage bill up until June, when it said that it accepted that there was a clear majority in Parliament to introduce same-sex marriage and that it would therefore end its opposition to changing the law.

Archbishop Welby admitted that the Church’s opposition to equal marriage was “utterly overwhelmed” by vocal supporters.

Last week, Archbishop Welby took a high-profile stance against lending company Wonga, saying he wanted the Church to compete it “out of existence”.

The statement continued to make the headlines, particularly after the Financial Times revealed that the Church indirectly contributed to Wonga through its stake in a venture capital fund, which invested heavily in the payday loans company.