David Cameron has hailed the virtues of Christianity in Britain, saying the UK should be proud of its “status as a Christian country”.
In an article for The Church Times, Cameron said that “we should be standing up to defend” Christian values.
He also unequivocally declared his own Christianity, though added that he was “not that regular in attendance and a bit vague on some of the more difficult parts of the faith,” though he did not expand on what those difficult parts were.
In his piece, Cameron said: “I believe we should be more confident about our status as a Christian country, more ambitious about expanding the role of faith-based organisations, and, frankly, more evangelical about a faith that compels us to get out there and make a difference to people’s lives.”
He also says: “Some fault the Church of England for perceived woolliness when it comes to belief. I am not one for doctrinal purity, and I don’t believe it is essential for evangelism about the church’s role in our society or its importance. It is important – and, as I have said, I would like it to do more, not less, in terms of action to improve our society and the education of our children.”
The Church has been one of the government’s fiercest critics over its welfare reforms. In February, 27 Anglican Bishops warned that cuts to benefits had seen a rise in dependency on food banks.
A week earlier, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, said it was a “disgrace” that there were people who could not afford to feed themselves in such a wealthy country as the UK.