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Podcast: Sir John Major at the National Cathedrals Conference

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19 May 2022

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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.

 

 

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