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Catholic Union “Pub Talks” return

Following a break over the summer, the Catholic Union’s “Pub Talks” returned this month with a talk with Professor Stephen Bullivant on whether Britain is a Christian country.

Catholic Union Acting Chairman, Richard Collyer-Hamlin, writes:

Members of the Catholic Union were treated to a lively talk this week by Professor Stephen Bullivant on the subject of “Is this a Christian country?” Professor Bullivant encouraged us to consider this oft-asked question from a number of angles from the national census to practice to the urban landscape. He left us with an open conclusion and the feeling that the answer very much lies in the eye of the beholder.

On the way home, I found myself wondering about the question of whether most people want to live in a Christian country. Personal belief and spirituality to one side, I think the majority probably does. The great contribution of the faith communities in our country may be their insight into moral matters and to act as a kind of backstop in the most troubling issues of our day. Sometimes the size of the group does not seem to matter. One only has to think of the colossal contribution to medical, social and legal ethics offered by the Jewish community in this country. Rabbi Jonathan Sachs was considered by many to have been the leading thinker of his time.

I do not think anyone is persuaded by the idea of a theocracy today but a nation which is secular in nature but inspired and informed by its Established Church and other treasured faith communities including all the Christian denominations works. Our Christian identity enriches the lives of believer and non believer. We may be too close to appreciate that our nation is in fact a fine contemporary example of a Christian country and culture if seen through the lens of contribution rather than weekly observance.