Saturday, 6 December 2008

Church of England must serve all the faiths, says Archbishop

The Church of England should be open for use by people of any religion or none, like a hospital, says Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York.

There is a strong case for regarding the Church as a public body that does not exist simply to serve believers, he argues. Whether or not most people attend regularly is irrelevant.

“At a time when a creeping social Darwinism is on the rise, where life is measured in terms of its quality or usefulness, the Church remains the last bastion of defence for those who would find themselves close to jettison by society,” the Archbishop says.

As the recession bites, the Established Church must rediscover its confidence and self-esteem. “The Church of England must once again be a beacon by which the people of England can orientate themselves in an unknown ocean.”

He cites the 23 million hours of community service carried out each year by Anglicans to make the case that the Church should remain established.

Dr Sentamu’s remarks will be published today by the Institute for Public Policy Research, Britain’s leading progressive think-tank, in a collection of essays by senior British faith leaders. Read more
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