Ruth Gledhill has the details of this event, which happened in Canterbury Cathedral last Friday. See Archbishop of Canterbury laments loss of Christian knowledge.
There is a transcript, and links to a complete audio recording on Ruth’s blog.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has blamed education and pluralism for Britain’s loss of Christian culture. He said the Church does still have its foot in the door but the foot is being ‘squashed very painfully’. Writers in the past such as PG Wodehouse could assume knowledge in the reader of the Bible and Hymns Ancient & Modern. No longer. ‘It’s all gone, gone because of shifting patterns of education not just religious education, it’s gone because of a much more anxious awareness of a plural society and not wanting to privilege one religious tradition over another. What to do about it? I’m not sure I have a quick answer. The good side of it is that if not everybody knows it the story isn’t necessarily boringly familiar.’
The Archbishop was speaking at a Christian ‘gathering’, a new form of community meeting that seems to be gaining ascendancy. There was one such last Friday at Canterbury, where the sell-out event was Private Eye editor Ian Hislop in conversation with Dr Williams…
The Church Times also has a report, Door is closing on Church’s foot, says Williams by Ed Beavan.
“THE FOOT is still in the door, even if it is being squashed very painfully,” the Archbishop of Canterbury said last weekend when he was asked about the Church’s participation in public debate. He did not think that the Church had yet “dropped off the radar”.
Dr Williams was in dialogue with Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye and panellist on the BBC’s Have I Got News for You, at an event during “The Gathering”, a series of activities for all ages at Canterbury Cathedral.
Mr Hislop described the difficulty that Dr Williams faced with the media when people called for a moral lead from the Church. “When the Archbishop of Canterbury says anything, they say, ‘Shut up,’” he suggested.
Dr Williams responded that “the leadership thing is a problem.” It was “a matter of trying to remember that when you’re speaking from the Church you’re trying to give some sort of critical perspective to try and show something”. The Archbishop admitted that he was “not brilliant at sound-bites”…