Lord Williams: Britain a 'post-Christian' country

Apr 27, 2014

Former Archbishop of Canterbury enters on-going debate

WPA/Getty Images

Britain is a “post-Christian” country – that’s the verdict of the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Williams of Oystermouth.

Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, he said Britain is no longer a “nation of believers” and that further “shrinkage” in the influence of the Church is likely in the years ahead.

His remarks come after David Cameron sparked a national debate over the status of religion in British public life. In the run-up to Easter, the prime minister urged Christians to be “more evangelical” and argued that Britain should be “more confident about our status as a Christian country”.

Lord Williams said that while Britain’s “cultural memory” is “quite strongly Christian”, the country is “post-Christian in the sense that habitual practice for most of the population is not taken for granted”.

He added: “A Christian nation can sound like a nation of committed believers, and we are not that.”

However, a new ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph shows significant support for Cameron’s view. More than half of those surveyed – 56%– regard Britain as a Christian country. The figure rises to 73% among the over 65s. Just 30% said they thought the country was “non-religious”.

Overall, 52% described themselves as either practising or non-practising Christians. Just 5% said they belonged to another faith group, while some 41% they were not religious.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Disqus - noscript

I'm surprised by the results of the Sunday Telegraph poll, I didn't realise the religious infection rate was so high in the UK..I'd be interested to see a similar poll taken from a sample of the 18 - 35 group..let's hope that generation will bring the rest of the country into a myth free 21st Century....for myself I'm in the over 60 age band and I put my imaginary friends away when I was 9 or 10.

well in the 5 - 18 age group there are going to be more muslims than anything else i'd suspect.

True...Britain is post "christian"....then what way of life does it embrace, worship, and serve?

Is it not the way of FREEDOM of SELF-RIGHTS?

Is it not the way of FREEDOM of SELF-RELIGION?

Is it not the way of FREEDOM of SELF-HAPPINESS?

Is it not to serve and magnify oneself? (XES)

YES it is.

And this way dictates that it is RIGHT (a right) to be FREE to worship ANY 'god'.

But the Lord Jesus Christ said that we are to worship ONLY the One Unique Creator and Him Alone, His Will Alone to serve in obedience and love.

Soon, the One King Jesus Christ will return to rule the earth in power & truth according to and in obedience to the Will of the One Jehowah Elohim and NOT according to man's first love for "his freedom".

I think many people of other faiths will laugh a little when Muslims have your secularist heads on platters. haha

Well I prefer to think of myself as anti-theist rather than just secular. Wouldn't surprise me at all if you, as a myth believer, laughed at anyone's misfortune, it's the nature of the faith blinded to do so.

I have noted that the religiously deluded are normally quick to anger and some even quicker to violence...their 'god' it appears is so fragile and insecure that he needs his puppets to protect him.

Thank goodness universal education and internet access is driving the Bronze Age dessert religions out of business, still some hope for humanity once they've been eradicated.