*** DEBUG END ***

Cameron describes ‘Christian fightback’

12 April 2012

by Ed Thornton



THE Prime Minister said last week that there was “a Christian fightback” taking place, but pleaded with Churches not to “fall out” with the Government over gay marriage.

Speaking at a reception for church leaders at Downing Street on Tuesday of last week, Mr Cameron said that evidence for the fightback included the “enormous reception” that greeted the Pope’s visit to the UK (News, 17 September 2010); the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible (News, 23 December 2011); the support for the saying of prayers at local council meetings (News, 17 February); and “the very strong stance that I’ve taken, and others have taken, in terms of the right to wear a crucifix” (News, 16 March).

Mr Cameron said that the values of Christianity were “the values that we need. . . We’re always telling our children to be tolerant. . . but is there a better way of explaining tolerance than saying, ‘Do to others as you would be done by’? So I think that Christian teaching can help us to have the strong values that we need as a country, and we should be celebrating that.”

He issued a plea to the church leaders that “we don’t fall out too much over the issue of gay marriage.” He sought to reassure them, as did the Home Secretary, Theresa May, last month (News, 23 March), that, if gay civil marriage came into law, “it will change what happens in a registry office; it will not change what hap­pens in a church.”

Mr Cameron also expressed con­cern about Christians in the Middle East. Countries that were “newly democratising” needed to be per­suaded “not to persecute min­orities, and to respect Christians”.

He concluded by speaking about the Big Society. He said that “faith-based organisations” should be en­couraged to solve social problems. The Big Society was “the biggest possible opportunity for churches up and down the country to have a real social mission, as well as having a moral, religious, and a spiritual mission”.

Mr Cameron’s Easter message, published on the Tuesday of Holy Week, described Jesus as “a man of in­comparable compassion, gener­osity, grace, humility, and love”. Such values “make our country what it is — a place which is tolerant, generous, and caring”.

Forthcoming Events

6-7 September 2022
Preaching as Pilgrimage conference
From the College of Preachers.

27-28 September 2022
humbler church Bigger God conference
The HeartEdge Conference in Manchester includes the Theology Slam Live Final.

More events

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)