The Church of England was facing "a time of exile" as its influence in the country waned, the General Synod was warned last night.
Many believed that Christianity was rapidly becoming invisible and the Christian voice was increasingly ignored, said the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, one of the leading contenders to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury.
His assessment echoes the pessimism of other church leaders, including Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the head of English and Welsh Roman Catholics, who said last year that Christianity had been all but "vanquished" when it came to influencing public policy. Even Dr George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has said that atheism was prevalent across much of the country.
In a presentation designed to set the agenda for the church, Dr Nazir-Ali told the Synod in York that links with the state were being eroded with the...