Anglican Futures: Anglican Alphabet Spaghetti

Anglican Futures Anglican Alphabetti Spaghetti A dummies guide to the plethora of organisations and acronyms linked to faithful Anglicans in the UK and Europe. I once spent some time around military personel.  Everything had its own TLA (Three Letter Acronym) right...

Canterbury Tales: Favourite Bible Stories Retold by Archbishop Justin Welby

Canterbury Tales Favourite Bible stories retold by Archbishop Justin Welby The Good Samaritan A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead, halfway...

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) met in Synod on 18 June.  While there, they elected two suffragan bishops to aid Bishop Andy Lines in providing episcopal oversight for the overall work.  Bishop Lines also...

Pride Flags Causing Conflict at Christian School

Pride Flags Cause Conflict at Christian School Conflict has broken out in a Christian school in Oxfordshire over the display of “Pride” flags. The institution in question is Kingham Hill School.  The same Trust (Kingham Hill Trust) oversees Oak Hill College, an...

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers The Prayer Book Society, which will soon celebrate its 50th Anniversary, is raising funds to put a special edition BCP into the hands of junior choristers around the nation.   The idea came to...

Book Review: Reimagining Britain by Justin Welby

Reimagining Britain Foundations for Hope Justin Welby Bloomsbury, 2018, new edn. 2021 (ISBN: 978-1-4729-8497-5, 322pp, £12.99) The Archbishop of Canterbury has made several notable political interventions recently, including over ‘partygate’ and the Rwanda deportation...

Birthday of Anglicanism in America

Birthday of Anglicanism in America By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins June 16, 1607 was the birthday of Anglicanism in America. On this day Captain John Smith and 104 others celebrated the Lord’s Supper when they arrived safely in Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown was the...

Barnabas Fund Report: Two ChiBok Girls Found

Barnabas Fund Reports Two Chibok Girls Found After 8 Years 24 June 2022 Two women, who were among hundreds of schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from the Nigerian town of Chibok eight years ago, have been found. Hauwa Joseph was discovered among a group of other...

New Bishop-elect for the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory

Church of Ireland News New Bishop Elected for Cashel, Ferns & Ossory The Church of Ireland diocese of Cashel, Ferns, and Ossory now has a bishop-elect.  The Venerable Adrian Wilkinson, Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross was elected to succeed the Rt Revd Michael...

Editorial: Lessons to be Learned from the American Pro-Life Movement

Editorial Lessons to be Learned from American Pro-Life Movement Friday, 24 June 2022, the Feast of St John the Baptist, will be a date which will live in infamy amongst the supporters of abortion.  On that date, the US Supreme Court, overturned the precedent set by...

6% of C of E Clergy voted Conservative in 2019

February 2021

Savanta ComRes poll was published just over a week ago on the political affiliation of Church leaders, and it has not had much coverage. In fact, it does not appear to have any media coverage at all, which is a little odd given the nuggets of insight it offers, not least of which being the fact that ‘Church leaders’ mental health takes a knock during lockdown’. The number of church leaders who said they had poor mental health doubled during 2020, apparently jumped from 7% to 15%. This is very concerning in the Body of Christ: if the mind is sick, the arms and legs are invariably impaired. The main media usually leap on such things as incontrovertible evidence of how bad the Tories have been in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic; how damaging Brexit is for the health of the economy and the essential wellbeing of society; and how Mrs Thatcher’s evil policies still haunt the country.

But more revealing is something tucked away on Table8: “Q4a. Thinking back to the General Election that took on the 12th of December 2019, which of the following parties did you vote for, or did you vote for another party?”

Just 6% of Anglican clergy voted Conservative. None in the Church of Scotland voted Conservative, and none in the Church in Wales voted Conservative.

And yet. (wait for it.)

A whopping 40% of Anglican clergy voted Labour (remember, this was Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party), and 26% voted for the Liberal Democrats.

Now, you may say this isn’t quite the whole picture of clergy political affiliation, because 10% of Anglican clergy “prefer not to say” which way they voted, but (given Jeremy Corbyn’s curmudgeonly character and manifest antisemitism) it is as likely that these 10% included ‘shy’ Corbynites as well as ‘shy’ Tories.

Equally fascinating is that 27% of Roman Catholic clergy voted Conservative at the last General Election, while only 9% voted Labour, which represents something of a seismic shift of political affiliation in that denomination (not least because “Get Brexit Done” was an inescapable mantra of the campaign).

The Archbishop of Canterbury believes diversity to be very important for the Church of England. And it is, of course: if there is ‘neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’, then such diversity ought to be manifest in the Church of Jesus Christ, and the infinite variety of humanity ought to be welcomed.

And so, there are initiatives to increase the number of BAME clergy at the highest levels, and the number of women, and the number of LGBT, for whom special services are created in order to offer a ‘safe space’. The diversity focus is invariably based on ethnicity, race, sex, gender, and sexuality, in order to better reflect the nation to which the church is ministering.

Any yet Anglican clergy are somewhat removed from the political affiliation of the country, as expressed in the 2019 General Election:


Diversity in the Church of England is very often quite literally skin deep: nobody seems to care very much at all about political, intellectual, or philosophical diversity (apart, that is, from certain conservative-inclined laity), and yet it is this ‘deeper’ diversity which offers a more profound missiology. By conveying essential fraternity with socialist and liberal philosophies (and politicians), and active hostility toward conservative philosophy (and politicians), the Church of England inflicts a wound upon its own mediating body, and so impedes its prophetic function in the spiritual life of the nation. When half the people of England feel that their Established Church offers them no welcome because they voted ‘Leave’, or because they rather like free markets, low tax, a small state, independence, individuality, self-determination and national sovereignty, the alienation is palpable.

The church’s missional vocation to foster national unity is hindered by clergy who assert a visceral partisanship, indeed contempt for things which C/conservatives hold sincerely and believe deeply. If no way is found to restore social, political and intellectual diversity, and people feel increasingly alienated as they cease to feel that their political aspirations and social perspectives are reflected (or at least treated with respect) at the highest levels, the Church of England will simply decline further: people will leave — if they haven’t already left.

Editor’s Note:  Article first appeared in the Archbishop Cranmer blog.