Updated Sunday morning
The Sunday Telegraph has an article by the Bishop of Rochester which is headlined Extremism flourished as UK lost Christianity.
There is also a news report by Jonathan Wynne-Jones headlined Bishop warns of no-go zones for non-Muslims.
Here’s another bit of what Bishop Nazir-Ali says in his article:
It is now less possible for Christianity to be the public faith in Britain.
The existence of chapels and chaplaincies in places such as hospitals, prisons and institutions of further and higher education is in jeopardy either because of financial cuts or because the authorities want “multifaith” provision, without regard to the distinctively Christian character of the nation’s laws, values, customs and culture.
Not only locally, but at the national level also the establishment of the Church of England is being eroded. My fear is, in the end, nothing will be left but the smile of the Cheshire Cat.
In the past, I have supported the establishment of the Church, but now I have to ask if it is only the forms that are left and the substance rapidly disappearing. If such is the case, is it worth persevering with the trappings of establishment?
I published this article before the Sunday Telegraph leader had appeared: Britain has changed but its values must endure. This includes the sentence:
Bishop Nazir-Ali’s concern that the rapidity and scale of immigration, together with the policy of multiculturalism, threaten Britain’s Christian heritage are echoed by the Church of England General Synod, a majority of which worries that large-scale immigration is “diluting the Christian nature of Britain”.
Is that a majority of the synod, or is that a majority of those who responded? Anyway, according to the Telegraph’s own news report (my emphasis added):
In the Synod survey, to be published this week, bishops, senior clergy and influential churchgoers said that an increasingly multi-faith society threatens the country’s Christian heritage and blamed the divisions on the Government’s failure to integrate immigrants into their communities.
It found that more than one in three believe that a mass influx of people of other faiths is diluting the Christian nature of Britain and only a quarter feel that they have been integrated into society.
The overwhelming majority – 80 per cent – said that the Government has not upheld the place of religion in public life and up to 63 per cent fear that the Church will be disestablished within a generation, breaking a bond that has existed between the Church and State since the Reformation.
Meanwhile, the bishop’s remarks are getting huge attention via the news agencies:
Press Association ‘UK Islamists creating no-go areas’
Associated Press UK Bishop Denounces Islamic Extremism
Agence France-Press ‘No-go’ zones in some Muslim areas: British bishop
and the BBC Bishop warns of ‘Islamic areas’