David Cameron is on an evangelistic roll as he speaks publicly once again about his faith, the work of the Church of England and the importance of faith for morality. Thanks Church Times!
David Cameron seems an enigmatic kind of chap. At best, is he an 'all things to all men' kind of leader, trying to please this constituency and that? This, it seems, is to the despair of many a Tory. At worst, is his Prime Ministership a charm offensive which hides an agenda for maintaining the classy British society of which he happens to be at the top as a rich, Old Etonian? This, according to many a left-winger, is the real Cameronian inside oil. Either way, some have wondered about the Christian commitment of David Cameron. But on that score we now have this to consider: with H/T to ++Cranmer, we hear David Cameron saying some good things, including this at a recent 'Easter reception' at 10 Downing Street:
" I’m proud to hold a reception for Christians here in Downing Street and proud to be a Christian myself and to have my children at a church school, which – I often get my moment of greatest peace – not every week, I’m ashamed to say, but perhaps every other week I pop in to the Thursday morning sung Eucharist beautiful service in St Mary Abbots, and I find a little bit of peace and hopefully a little bit of guidance."
He goes on to make an observation I included in my sermon yesterday (there was an AGM to follow the service):
"This third thing I wanted to say, which I suppose is a little bit more controversial, but I was reflecting on this meeting tonight and what to share with you and I have a thought – which is not a new thought, but I think it is a true thought –which is when I think of the challenges which our churches face in our country and when I think about the challenges political institutions face in our countries – in our country, I see a lot of similarities. We both sometimes can get wrapped up in bureaucracy; we both sometimes can talk endlessly about policies and programmes and plans without explaining what that really means for people’s lives. We can sometimes get obsessed by statistics and figures and how to measure things.
Whereas actually, what we both need more of is evangelism. More belief that we can get out there and actually change people’s lives and make a difference and improve both the spiritual, physical and moral state of our country, and we should be unashamed and clear about wanting to do that. And I’m sure there are people here of all political persuasions and no political persuasions, and I’m certainly not asking you to agree with everything the government does, but I hope you can see – hopefully more than moments, but real moments of evangelism, enthusiasm and wanting to make our world a better place."
There is more at the link, including heartfelt concern for persecution of Christians. But perhaps the nicest comment he makes concerns the pastoral ministry of parish priests, referring directly to the priest of the parish whose school his children go to and his own local priest in his constituency:
"So it’s lovely to have here tonight the vicar from St Mary Abbots school, Gillean Craig, and also the vicar who looks after me spiritually in the constituency, Mark Abrey in Chadlington, who, when I often – anyone asks me about the pastoral care that many vicars carry out across the country, I remember 5 years ago when we had to mourn the loss and bury my son Ivan, I can’t think of anyone who was more loving or thoughtful or kind than Mark. And of course, Ivan would have been 12 yesterday, which has had me pause to think about that."Britain's most Christian PM since Margaret Thatcher?
But then Giles Fraser pours a bit of (needed) cold water on the idea of DC's Christianity being the meat and bones kind that gets you crucified ... here.
That critique fires bullets all around. Is what I believe and stand for as a Christian likely to get me crucified?