*** DEBUG END ***

Podcast: Sir John Major at the National Cathedrals Conference

19 May 2022

0:00 / 0:00
Simon Bray

Sir John Major, who was Prime Minister of the UK from 1992 to 1997, delivered a speech this week at the National Cathedrals Conference in Newcastle Cathedral.

The conference, “Different Country, Different Church”, included talks, workshops, and debate about the direction of the Church on social, racial, and climate justice.

Sir John spoke about the challenges facing the Church of England, in particular the “Herculean task” of maintaining its parish churches and cathedrals. “The lion’s share of the cost of maintaining this huge community asset falls on the diminishing number of regular worshippers. This is unjust. Some argue that it may be necessary to close churches, reduce the number of stipendiary clergy, and sell assets. I do hope not.”

He also addressed issues in wider society, such as asylum and immigration, Brexit, Covid, and the cost-of-living crisis.

“In times of austerity, we are told that we are ‘all in it together’,” he said. “If so, then logically, we should ‘all be in it together’ in times of prosperity. I hope the Government will devise a policy that encourages ‘trickle down’ and shares national growth more fairly.”

An extended extract from the speech is featured on this week’s podcast.

Read the full speech here, or watch it here.

Read more about other talks at the conference here.

Click the play button above to listen to this podcast. You can also listen to the Church Times Podcast on the Church Times app for iPhone and iPadSoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and most other podcast platforms. Music for the podcast is by Twisterium.



Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Awards Ceremony: 6 September 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available


Inspiration: The Influences That Have Shaped My Life

September - November 2024

St Martin in the Fields Autumn Lecture Series 2024

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website


Visit our Events page for upcoming and past 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.)