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Quotes of the week

by
29 April 2022

istock

I derided Thatcher’s and Blair’s religiosity when I should have been commending it. Not because it was religious but because it grounded political debate in the question of what is right, not what is expedient. Now, after a decade of moral frivolity, I realise I want not less religion in politics and politics in religion, but more. A whole lot more

David Aaronovitch, columnist, responding to church attacks on the Rwanda asylum-seeker deal, The Times, 21 April


Can we have a debate on geography and history lessons? I gather that one Conservative Member has recently stated that we are sending refugees to “a safe European country, Rwanda”. Another Conservative MP said that the Church of England was disestablished many years ago, which will come as news to the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, Her Majesty

Chris Bryant MP, House of Commons, 21 April


We are not a Christian country but a post-Christian country in which fragments of the Christian tradition lie around like strange objects that confused politicians pick up to use as weapons against one another or as totems to manipulate and curry favour with the masses

James Walters, Chaplain of the London School of Economics, in response to comments on Twitter about a remark by Alexander Stafford MP that Britain “as a Christian country” should forgive Boris Johnson, 21 April


As a vicar standing in the pulpit you quickly learn the different types of congregation members. There are those parishioners who come every Sunday and sit in the pews listening intently. Those who come to church for the community side of things just as much as the Christian faith. Then there are the frazzled parents who, with their kids occupied in Sunday school, use the service as a time for peace and quiet, reflection — and to write that week’s shopping list. And then there are the members of the congregation who steal your car during the prayers

Anonymous vicar, The Times, 23 April


The prime minister may find Justin Welby a turbulent priest but at least the Archbishop of Canterbury hasn’t mocked his weight. A story is told about Frederick Temple, the Victorian AB of C, writing at his desk when the Marquess of Salisbury entered and pompously demanded a word. “Take a chair,” Temple said without looking up. “I don’t think you realise who you are addressing,” the portly PM replied. At which Temple paused and said: “I’m sorry, take two chairs”

Diary, The Times, 22 April


We invite readers’ contributions. Quotations have to be from the past few days (or quoted therein), and we need author, source, and date. Please send promptly to: quotes@churchtimes.co.uk

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