Saturday, 12 November 2016

British Values and the National Church

David Holloway (ed.) British Values and the National Church: Essays on Church and State from 1964-2014, 2015 The Latimer Trust

I bought this short publication on the recommendation of a review in the Church Society's theological journal.

This is a series of lectures on the role of a state church delivered by Canon Max Warren in 1964. The editor, David Holloway feels they are particularly relevant today with the government's emphasis on "British values." He questions the government's arbitrary selection of such things as democracy and the rule of law as the central ethos of British values. He suggests that Christianity, as located in the Church of England is a much richer source for British values, even in a multi-faith society.

Canon Max Warren sees three roles for a national church, to Prophesy, to Purify and to Prepare. A national church has a prophetic role in leading the nation towards the hope of the Christian faith. It has a purifying role in opposing evil. Her preparatory role is in preparing the nation for the future, both in terms of crises that may come and pointing towards the eschatological judgement of God. I found this a really insightful look into the role of a state religion from an Evangelical perspective.

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