What kind of country are we?

The Papal visit has become an opportunity or an excuse for the media to ask some fundamental questions about what kind of a country and people we now are.

I was brought up in a constitutional monarchy. The Queen was Head of an established Protestant Church and ceremonial Head of State. The Prime Minister was the elected leader who with his collegaues made most of the important government decisions. The Archbishop of Canterbury with his colleagues ran the Anglican Church at home and abroad. Religious toleration was assured for all those of differing Christian Churches.

This changed markedly with the growth of EU power. Gradually we had a second unelected government making laws and drawing up budgets. The monarch became a citizen of Europe like the rest of us. Parliament was no longer sovereign in areas of competence taken by the EU.

It has also changed somewhat as a result of social change. Many people feel no allegiance to the Anglican Church or to any Christian community. There are now larger communities of people who follow a different faith. There are many who take a secular or atheist view of the world.

The English Reformation was designed to end the authority of Papal courts and law codes in England, to end Papal power and doctrine and to usher in a more flexible expression of clerical power which was answerable to the English courts and above all to the High Court of Parliament.

At a time of flux and change it would be interesting to hear views on whether we are happy to keep our established Protestant Church, whether we should continue to represent it in the House of Lords through automatic seats for leading Bishops, and whether the Anglican Church has struck the right mood and tone in its response to the Papal visit.


  1. Mike Stallard
    September 19, 2010

    In chess, bishops go sideways, so let me go sideways, not straight up and down like a castle.
    Yesterday in town, I was greeted warmly by two pretty girls. I patted one of them on the shoulder in the market place. Their parents greeted me warmly in the library. I met a Polish immigrant in the market too. We exchanged a few warm words and then, reluctantly, went our separate ways. I still feel guilty that I have forgotten his name.
    I also do a lot of work for the government in the local centre. It is getting cold there. People are desperate to fulfil their targets and to get paid for their work, so they have to meet the specifications. An atmosphere of fear and suspicion has grown up. People look tired and cross.
    The lady behind the counter of the cafe, though, greets me warmly still.
    What the Church provides, you see, is warmth. That is quite surprising really since, as individual people, we are actually all pretty grim people.
    The Pope is so right to say that good is love and lack of love is its opposite.

    All the rest is waffle really. I don;t care who is in charge, so long as I can get to mass!

    1. JimF
      September 19, 2010

      Certainly you're right. In an age of cold economics, the Church provides at a local level warmth between fellow humans, and guidelines on rights and responsibilities.

      Unfortunately, with all the Bishops who represent the Church in the HOL, it seems that these standards aren't being passed on to the chap who has 10 kids by 10 different women by the age of 25. The more pertinent question is how this can be achieved; whether by more or less moral and religious leaders being present in Parliament. Would adding a stronger inter-denominational contingent or critical-mass of religious leaders in Parliament provide a moral compass? Perhaps so. Or are there other ways?

  2. Rob
    September 19, 2010

    Government should be based on fairness and logic. Neither of these have been particularly evident in any religion through the last few hundred years. The Catholic church is one of the worst for it's repressive and regressive attitudes towards science and human rights. I see no reason for the state to be tied to any religion and it should have strict laws to prevent those who would seek to force there religious views on others.

  3. Iain
    September 19, 2010

    It is useful having the CofE occupying the role it does, for as a mostly harmless organisation, who are more likely to found to be intellectually beating up themselves over hair-splitting issues, as a result in occupying the ground they do they deny it to more unsavoury religious elements. In addition in light of the decadence of the British political establishment, who won't defend anything in sovereignty, values or culture, it useful having an established Church which acts as a block to them retreating on this area as well.

  4. forthurst
    September 19, 2010

    The Anglican church is in some ways central to our language and our traditions and the Act of Settlement ensures that at times of national celebration and commemoration, there is a proper place and ceremony wherein the nation congregates.

    There are those who for many years have been working assiduously but clandestinely to undermine every aspect of our sense of being English in a country called England and speaking a language called English by prommoting themselves and their alien ways as superior if not equal to ourselves and ours. We should therefore be very wary of offering anything to these enemies within jin the form of yet another dissolution of our inherent forms; nevertheless, I also find it thoroughly inappropriate that acting through the Monarch, individuals whose beliefs and behaviours are a contradiction of Christianity should be determining the dispensations of the Anglican church, nor do I appreciate the corresponding promotions to the Lords, to that of our senior bishops, of individuals whose other religions and loyalties I personally find deeply repellant. I therefore believe that the Anglican church should cease to be led by the Monarch or be represented in parliament whilst otherwise retaining its primary role in the life of our country.

  5. Amanda
    September 19, 2010

    Unfortunately a fractured one !! Therefore, I do really welcome the Pope's statements on this visit. He has brought 'off limits' topics to the table for discussion, and at the heart of Westminster too.

    He has had the courage to speak of the damage done by fundermentalist secularists and athesists, where others are too weak and frightened. And, what a show of highly revealing, hypocrisy, intolerance and nastiness the Pope has outed in those who deem to style themselves our 'cultural elite'.

    I think he will have given Christians of all flavours strength – I'm an agnostic with Christian roots, who believes in the power of the spiritual, and I feel strengthened. He has layed down the weapons for further public debate – I hope there are now politicians and media who are willing to take them up. He has also revealed the black heart of secular fundermentalism, which lurks in the margins or rationality – the persecuted have become persecutors and they are just as ugly as any other persecutor.

    Lastly, he has added yet more evidence that the BBC must be brought to heel – who has been cheerleader for the nasty anti-Pope campaign? The plot against him by the 'immigrants', show the need to sort our immigration – that was shaming. He has also, of course, done a stirling job for recruitment to the Catholic church, especially from disaffected Anglicans – that, I think will lead to interesting developments.

    However, after all, what does stand out for me, is just as you say. At the heart of our split with Rome in the sixteenth century was the overthrow of rules from Europe – at that point it was Rome. The Tudors, decided we could all have our own hot line to God, and be self determining in our lives. Europe, in the form of Rome, did not let go that easily of course – and hence the need to be anti-Catholic. However, the threat to our self-autonomy no longer comes from Rome, but from Brussels – with their left-wing secular religion, and their plans for a single seat at the UN.

    The world has not change, we are still fighting the same forces, only this time, maybe Rome may be a tool in the English armoury!! I will pray to God, that he will guide us in the right way !! Whether that be through the Vatican or through our own hearts.

  6. Simon _c
    September 19, 2010

    In my view, having seats in the lords going automatically to various bishops in the Anglican church is ridiculous. The second chamber should be democratically decided in one way or another.
    The biggest problem I have with the monarch is that that position is by definition the head of the church too.

    If people want to have belief in stone age gods, rituals, meditation, of the flying spaghetti monster, then I couldn't care less, but when they start trying to force their believe on others (i.e. compulsory school "daily worship of a predominately christian nature"), or abusing their positions of power (Anglican lords voting on matters like voluntary euthanasia) or even telling me what time of day I can go shopping, or when my taxes goes to the indoctrination of the next generation (i.e. faith schools) then it's gone way way too far in my view.

  7. @Gammidgy
    September 19, 2010

    Is there any reasonable argument in support of keeping the Lords Spiritual? Indeed, I can't think of any reasonable argument against anything in Evan Harris' Secularist Manifesto. <a href="http://(http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/sep/18/secularist-manifesto-secularism)” target=”_blank”>(http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/sep/18/secularist-manifesto-secularism)

    I note with sadness the comment on that webpage from those who refuse to acknowledge the difference between atheism and secularism.

  8. English Pensioner
    September 19, 2010

    I was upset by the BBC's coverage of the Papal Service in Hyde Park yesterday. For the whole time they had two rows of "news" running across the bottom of the screen. One saying something like "Latest – Pope meets some victims of priestly abuse" and the other "Pope apologises to victims of abuse". I am an Anglican, and I am aware that there have been major problems, but the BBC seems determined to keep banging on about this to the detriment of, I believe, far more important issues that the Pope has addressed such as the growing militancy of secularism to the detriment of the moral standards of this country. But then the BBC wouldn't mention things like that any more than absolutely necessary, because they are part of this secular movement!

    1. Rose
      September 20, 2010

      And how much banging on about IRA priests and Liberation Theologians did we get? Both these (activities-ed) were presided over by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

  9. Lindsay McDougall
    September 19, 2010

    As an atheist I suppose I should not be interested in this. However, our established Protestant Church is a very useful stick with which to beat not only the Church of Rome but also institutions of the European Union, which are more closely entwined than people admit.

    Incidentally, if we want to save taxpayers £12 million of expenditure during the next papal visit, we could withdraw recognition of the Vatican State, which could be reabsorbed into Italy. Are you listening, Silvio?

  10. Rose
    September 19, 2010

    The Queen isn't Head of the Church of England – that is Christ. She is His Supreme Governor, a correction from Henry VIII's "Head of the Church of England", made by his daughter, the scholarly and devout Elizabeth I.

  11. APL
    September 19, 2010

    JR: "… established Protestant Church, whether we should continue to represent it in the House of Lords"


    Regarding the Lords, we should first be thinking of expelling the likes of Kinnock, Prescott, Michael Martin ( rightfully sunk without trace), Hestletine, Patten et al.

    Each of which in his way have worked to destroy the United Kingdom.

    By the way, the Queen now reports to …. who exactly? Is it Jose Barroso or Van Rompuy.

    Good question though,' What kind of country are we?'. The answer has nothing to do with how many priests dance in the House of Lords!

  12. Derek Buxton
    September 19, 2010

    I too was born into the same Constitutional Monarchy and find the current situation intolerable. Unfortunately succesive governments have destroyed most of what we had and are bent on finishing the job. The three main parties are all to blame but we can do nothing as our Constitution has been destroyed, no one now holds the executive to account, the police are politicised and out of control. Where do we go next, that is anybody's guess, the grave I suppose.

  13. Cliff.
    September 19, 2010

    Firstly I feel I must declare an interest; I am Catholic.
    I am saddened by the anti Catholic and anti Christian propaganda put out by both the BBC, The Guardian and Sky. I am sick of seeing and hearing that single issue, publicity seeking Peter Tatchall.
    The church of England represents the reality of this country and mirrors the main political parties. Many people do not know what the CofE stands for anymore as they have become so PC inorder to appear modern and appeal to everyone; the same is true of our political parties; What does Labour, the LibDems and our party, under Mr Cameron, now stand for? Where are our ideological principles?

    I like the fact my Catholic faith has not changed its doctrine just to be PC, once you change biblical based doctrines, the faith looses all credibility and, in my opinion, that is what has happened within the CofE.
    Any dissillusioned members of the CofE will be very welcome when they come home to the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

    If Mr Cameron wants to do something for our country then he should get us out of the EUSSR!!!

  14. P Haynes
    September 19, 2010

    Clearly people who believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden should be allowed to indulge in their hobbies so long as they do not harm anyone else.

    They certainly should not, however, be allowed to tell the rest of us which state schools we may use, or dictate the syllabus or tell us when we may shop. Neither should they have any preferential input to education, or government.

    They certainly should not be allowed to restrict free speech. People with other views on fairies should not be prevented from expressing them by law, exactly as robustly as they might wish.

    This should apply even if these people are very, very learned, or wear colourful gowns and robes or are even if they are the very highest of priests in the great arts of "fairies at the bottom of the garden".

    1. LBS
      September 20, 2010

      You would help your case if you restrained yourself from talking so superciliously about fairies.

  15. Andrew Johnson
    September 19, 2010

    The Co of E should be dis-established. The House of Lords should be 75% elected – 25% specialist/expert to be co-opted by the Government of the day. The House of Lords main function is to carry out detailed scrutiny of proposed government legislation. If Bishops want to serve the nation in the House of Lords or Parliament, then let them stand for election.

    1. Y Rhyfelwr Dewr
      September 20, 2010

      The House of Lords is one of the few aspects of our political system that actually works quite well. The Commons hasn't fulfilled its job as a check on the government's power in decades, and you'd like an upper house that the prime minister can control in precisely the same way? What's the point of having two rubber stamps?

      Tony Blair lost four votes in the Commons, and 500 in the Lords. What do you think was really the reason he wanted to reform it?

      1. Andrew Johnson
        September 21, 2010

        Brave warrior, I think you have not read my post properly. How can a prime minister control the House of Lords if 75% of its members are elected by the electorate for the life of parliament? The 25% government co-opted Lords would be there to provide specialist expertise and would serve for the life of parliament too. It would be up to an incoming Government whether or not to replace them. Let the electorate decide if they want religious representatives in the House of Lords. I believe that's called democracy, something that is increasingly being taken away from us by the majority of the political class.

  16. Gideon Mack
    September 19, 2010

    Even as a non believer I can appreciate that the New Testiment is essentially of book of ideal moral standards. Saying that "as individual people, we are all pretty grim people" is a bit of a gross generalisation in my opinion.

    As a crutch, the Church is a valuable asset to any country until such times as it forgets it is a belief.

  17. Ray Veysey
    September 19, 2010

    I am sorry Mike but your vision of the world seems somewhat unreal to me. People at work are under pressure and especially in the public service that doesn't mean they are any less warm and human when greeted away from the work enviroment, and if people are warm and welcoming it doesn't follow it's because they are Christians or any other faith. It's very possible they are just warm and friendly !
    You cannot claim human warmth and feelings as restricted to those who believe, that is completetly wrong, and indeed it makes a mockery of your faith. Can you only be warm and friendly to someone of faith ?
    Punishing people who have not had, or have given up their faith, is only your way of reassuring your own faith, as is recruitment, and tokenism. Because you eat meat on Friday, doesn't make you a bad person.
    In politics it is the same, we are being frog marched into a fascist European state without a proper vote since 1976 (?) where is our democracy ? it is in the hands of Cardinal Barroso and Cardinal Von Rumpy pumpy, we are as in religion, all considered to be of that faith because our politicians are giving in to it on our behalf. So kids are being born european, and catholic without any say in the matter

  18. Rose
    September 19, 2010

    We still need Lords Spiritual in Parliament and some of them can be Jews, Sikhs, or Moslems. It is a pity the cardinals don't want to be part of that. Their idea of staying outside is the wrong sort of piety.They are all needed in the legislature, just as lawyers, bankers, servicemen, and businessmen are. I think we still need an Established Church to play host to all the others, and the C of E is quite good at that. Otherwise what would come in its place? Our constitution is a delicate balance of powers and New Labour damaged it by not understanding there is no such thing as a perfect system of democracy, just as there is no such thing as an ethical foreign policy. What we had was working in the Lords, and the Bishops were dong their bit. So was the monarchy. It was the House of Commons which needed reform as it wasn't holding the executive to proper account.

    For atheists this will not be welcome, but when man dethrones God great cruelty and turmoil seems to ensue.

  19. libertarian
    September 19, 2010

    Well as an atheist and humanist I am not particularly interested in religions. I have no problem with people who wish to be engaged in such activity as long as they do not impose their beliefs on me or use moral outrage against other members of the community based on the so called "teachings" of the many and various prophets.

    I am now as I approach late middle age changing my allegiance to the Monarchy. HM The Queen has been an absolutely wonderful state head for the entire duration of her reign. However on her sad demise I will be first onto the streets to proclaim a Republic as the idiot Charles will not be welcome by me.

    So my belief is that we need to start the process of change in our constitution and to set in chain a series of referenda on the future democracy of our country

    1. Robert Taggart
      September 20, 2010

      There does appear to be a 'movement' growing for a referendum on the constitutional set-up after the demise of Bessie.
      Alas, these 'movements' are only really gathering speed in those remaining outposts of empire which still 'owe' allegiance to her… Australia. Canada, New Zealand.
      Time for UKGBNI to follow suit ?

    2. Y Rhyfelwr Dewr
      September 20, 2010

      How do you feel about the aggressive secularists, who indeed do attempt to impose their beliefs upon the rest of us, and most certainly use moral outrage against other members of the community based on the so called "teachings" of the many and various prophets; Richard Dawkins and Stephen Fry being two prominent examples.

    3. Rose
      September 20, 2010

      People may have thought much the same before Queen Victoria eventually died in 1901, but Edward VII turned out a good and much-loved King. There is of course the complication of Camilla, which King Edward had wisely avoided. When he died, his Queen was able to say "He loved me the best."

  20. James Matthews
    September 19, 2010

    It depends who you mean by "we". The term "people" implies quite a high degree of common culture. Neither Britain nor England have that any longer, though arguably Scotland and Wales still do. We are multi-cultural, which means a wide variety of different peoples sharing a set of legal rights and obligations, but not common loyalties, common values, common priorities, a common history, a common religion (or, for the secular, a common religious cultural heritage) or even, in some cases, a common language.

    Given that we have been brought to this point by our own political establishment (of which the church of England is a part) it barely matters whether we continue to have an established church. It probably does no great harm, nor any real good. A fig leaf of imagined continuity in a nation which has chosen to commit cultural suicide.

  21. Adam Collyer
    September 20, 2010

    "The English Reformation was designed to end the authority of Papal courts and law codes in England, to end Papal power and doctrine and to usher in a more flexible expression of clerical power which was answerable to the English courts and above all to the High Court of Parliament."

    Interesting reading of history. The Church of England was effectively created when Henry VIII declared himself head of the English church, and not subject to papal authority. And the closure of the monasteries had more to do with filling the King's coffers than religious reform.

    There was a little spat later about the issue of whether the "High Court of Parliament" or the King was supreme.

    1. Y Rhyfelwr Dewr
      September 20, 2010

      That's an over-simplification. The reality was all rather more involved than that, and the C of E existed centuries before Henry VIII. In fact, nobody's entirely sure when it was created as a formal institution, but Saint Augustine's mission to Canterbury in the sixth century was to strengthen "the church in England."

      Certainly, the Church in Wales existed at that time as a formal entity entirely separate from the English church, as Augustine discovered when he crossed the Severn and was turned back by Welsh bishops who demonstrated that he was exceeding his remit.

      The First Act of Supremacy changed the constitution of the C of E dramatically, but to suggest the C of E did not exist before Henry VIII is entirely wrong.

  22. Robert Taggart
    September 20, 2010

    For 'our' future…
    UKGBNI – has served its purpose for which it be no longer needed.
    England should be – Republic, with an elected head of state.
    Democratic, no more nonsense of an unelected ruling body.
    Secular, religion should be the preserve of the individual.
    Nationalist, confident in who we are.
    Sounds too radical ? Then take a look across the Channel… 'they' appear to be all these and are doing quite nicely !

    1. Y Rhyfelwr Dewr
      September 20, 2010

      Acroos the Channel? You mean, we should be like the Netherlands? A federated parliamentary constitutional monarchy in which a protestant church is recognised as the state religion?

      1. Robert Taggart
        September 21, 2010

        Oh, Ah, NON !

  23. Y Rhyfelwr Dewr
    September 20, 2010

    I was brought up in the C of E and, although I converted to Mormonism more than twenty years ago, I still maintain a certain nostalgic fondness for it. I do wish it well.

    However, it does seem illogical to have not only a state-sponsored religion, run by bishops who are political appointees, but one that manifestly only represents the views of a fairly small minority.

    Back in the days (not so long ago) when people were inclined to describe themselves as C of E when they didn't call themselves anything else, there was some justification for it. But the C of E is so obviously in a decline that is probably terminal that it just seems irrelevant now.

  24. Mark
    September 20, 2010

    Going back in history, the Church was multifunctional. It provided the welfare state, such as it was, and the state news service via proclamations. It offered a parallel career for second sons of the nobility, and maintained a role in the governance of the country. Many of these functions have been usurped by the secular state: even the appointment of key bishops is now dictated by Prime Ministers. The break with Rome laid the foundations of independence from the Continent and far flung empire.

    Whilst the most political church appointees have been marginalised (and marginal persons in more recent times), there have been valuable contributions from the Archbishop of York and the former Bishop of Rochester in particular, both of whom have told truth unto power in ways that most of our political establishment are far too craven to manage. We sideline such voices at our peril. Indeed, the Pope's diagnosis of our society identifies key pressure points – the difficulties of an over-ambitious multicultural project that appears to be failing; the lack of a unifying moral code as competing secular and other religious voices destroy the clarity we once had; and the lack of tolerance for those who find religion provides a guide to life without it becoming a route to extremism (often as a defence against those who would seek to suppress it).

    Whilst science now offers far more convincing explanations of the development of the universe, and even accounts for the emotions felt by a churchgoer as a release of endorphins in the brain, the fact remains that it is participation in a religion that is one of the inherited traits of mankind – a social behaviour that has "survival value" in pure Darwinian terms. Cast it off lightly, and we risk being overrun by those who retain the advantages that religious belief confers.

  25. John
    September 20, 2010

    "The English Reformation was designed to end the authority of Papal courts and law codes in England, to end Papal power and doctrine and to usher in a more flexible expression of clerical power which was answerable to the English courts and above all to the High Court of Parliament."

    And now insert EU instead of Papal in the above.

    Perhaps we need a new Anglican "Church" whose doctrine, rather than God and religion, is freedom, liberty and self-determination and a new Reformation.

  26. simple soul
    September 20, 2010

    If it is not necessary to change, then it is necessary not to change.

    1. Robert Taggart
      September 21, 2010

      It be necessary to change, change be necessary !

  27. adam
    September 21, 2010

    Forget big government – the same elite whose policies caused the financial collapse are now ready to launch the next phase of their fascist takeover of the economy – by forcing businesses to send employee paychecks straight to the government, who would then deduct the “appropriate tax” before the employee receives their wage, as the statist cancer of collectivism grows.
    The proposal represents another hammer blow to financial privacy, as the establishment moves towards a total cashless society where every transaction is tracked, traced and controlled by the authorities.
    “The UK’s tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that all employers send employee paychecks to the government, after which the government would deduct what it deems as the appropriate tax and the pay the employee’s by bank transfer,” reports CNBC.
    The system would be run by the same organization, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), that has become notorious for its botched handling of data and incorrect tax calculations which have forced people to spend months and even years trying to claim back unfairly claimed money seized by the taxman.

    Allied to the proposal will be a new program that will force middle-class families to take government “lie detector tests,” which are notoriously unreliable and inadmissible in court, as part of intrusive tax investigations into their financial affairs.
    Prime Minister David Cameron and his side-kick Nick Clegg’s promise to deconstruct the Big Brother state in Britain has proven to be completely fraudulent. This is Big Brother on steroids, and it mimics a myriad of other programs on both sides of the pond that are being enforced as part of the same move towards total regulation and control over every aspect of our existence.

    Reply: This site invited people to lobby the Treasury about this proposal recently.

  28. dphodgson
    September 21, 2010

    The Church of England never really weathered the Industrial Revolution. It saw the removal of large numbers of its congregations from their settled ways of life to sprawling conurbations. In many industrial towns of Northern England the Methodist chapels were built before the parish churches. Churches are communities or they are nothing; and it is harder to sustain community – especially communities of shared faith and tradition – in a society where the basic unit is the self-referencing individual. In democratic capitalist societies faith communities must be communities of choice and whilst these may at times will be quite large they will never be as embedded in the social fabric as they were in the pre-modern age. As Charles Taylor points out in his "The Secular Age" the change in the role and power of faith in society in the last 500 years has very little to do with the growth of science and much more to do with transformation of the self by social change and economic growth

  29. IRJMilne
    September 22, 2010

    What, I wonder, is the Conservative party, given its current leadership personnel, likely to do to rebuild the constitutional description of the country Mr Redwood gives, in place of that which, as he says, has come to usurp our old practices? I certainly regard myself as Her Majesty's subject first and foremost, and support the Church of England and the ancient institutions of the realm, House of Lords et al, but I don't even know if Mr Redwood does any more, and if the Conservative party won't do anything useful in these sort of respects, those like myself are left powerless bystanders.

    I don't believe we can be in the EU on terms which do not lead to the total abolition of Britain's anciently-derived constitution – everywhere one looks there is conflict – from votes for prisoners, to the Supreme Court, to the constitution of Sark, to structure of local government, status of the monarch, role of parliament, and so on and so onward. These problems must be fundamental in EU 'membership' as far as I can see. Yet only a tiny fraction of the Conservative party wants to do anything more than temper the excesses of Brussels, which might even be counterproductive in some circumstances for the broad constitutional causes.

  30. Richard Ritchie
    September 22, 2010

    I have come late to this and may be repetitive. However, some Anglicans would disagree that their church is 'Protestant'. As a Roman Catholic myself, I don't agree with them but some Anglicans see the Church of England as the Catholic Church IN England and are almost more 'Catholic' than the Pope. This lack of identity and of cohesion is of course one reason why the Church of England is in such trouble: and why the Roman Catholic Church, for all its difficulties and setbacks, is still the authentic voice of Christendom. Can anyone imagine an Archbishop of Canterbury having the same impact as the Pope if he were to visit a foreign country? As an Englishman I love England, and the Church of England does a great deal of good and counters secularism. But only when it re-joins Rome will it become a complete member of the Church which Christ founded – and many of its members do not wish this to happen.

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