It is clear that establishment Christianity – better labelled ‘churchianity’ because of its close identification with the institutional church – does not have the influence it once did, even in living memory. The difficulty the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, had in negotiating a slot with New Labour at the Millennium celebrations at the Dome was indicative of the waning influence of the established church.
He got a platform – just – but arguably he could have made more of a gospel opportunity of it had he had less of a sense that he was entitled to it.
A good case can be made that the waning influence of establishment churchianity is to be welcomed. When has it ever spoken with a prophetic voice? The centre-left thrust of archiepiscopal political pronouncements does not challenge UK establishment thinking with a distinctively Christian edge in any significant sense.