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Quotes of the week

13 October 2023


I’m not that woke. I’m really very conservative in lots of things. And better to be woke than asleep

Justin Welby, interview, The New Statesman, 6 October


The Church in the 1960s or 1970s, on issues of race, was sound asleep. It missed out on what would probably be two to three hundred thousand people who came from the Caribbean, whom we turned away. I wish they’d been a bit more woke, frankly. We’d be a better Church for it



Secularism has its own inbuilt crisis because it doesn’t have any sense of teleology. It doesn’t have a foundation in hope that recognises human sinfulness and forgiveness. The crisis of cancel culture is enormous in the absence of those things that enable society to repair itself, to suffer disaster and still have hope, and therefore for people to love one another. It’s brutal



I’d gone in there pretty much with my hood up. It was all pretty scary to me but then that happened and the community was just so welcoming. . . It felt like I was home, in a place where people understand there’s a higher level to this very superficial world

Adam Peaty, Olympic swimmer, on attending church in Germany, The Times, 11 October


And what about evil? No, says the attending nurse Ann (Ann Dowd). “Evil is about giving up on our wish to be happy!” What? No it’s not. Did Hitler just, one day, stop trying to be happy?

Kevin Maher, review of The Exorcist: Believer, The Times, 6 October


I’ve refused to read his [David Baddiel’s] book about atheism. You know what? If I want to read the views of an atheist, I can basically go into a newsagent and gather up virtually every newspaper and magazine

Frank Skinner, Re-Enchanting podcast, 4 October


I’m sorry but who on earth is going to a rave organised by the Church of England. I wouldn’t go to a cake sale organised by David Guetta

Fergus Butler-Gallie, priest and writer, responding to advert for a silent disco in Canterbury Cathedral, Twitter/X, 6 October


Our secularisation has been so rapid and far-reaching that religion plays no part in the lives of most ­citizens. We seem to have forgotten that faith is not just about private abstract belief, but about how you live with other people. It is widely assumed that people whose view of society is shaped by religious convictions are at best irrational, and in some cases unhinged

Neil MacGregor, historian, The Daily Telegraph, 7 October


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