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Bishop of London: Use it or lose it when it comes to Englishness

Sat 20 Feb 2016
By Aaron James

The Bishop of London has encouraged English people to positively reclaim their national identity, otherwise it will be taken forever by people who use it negatively.

Rt Revd Richard Chartres was speaking alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Justin Welby, and the Lord Mayor of London, Lord Mountevans, at a special City of London dinner dedicated to all of the Church of England dioceses.

Mr Chartres said that people in England needed to actively embrace Englishness in a good way, otherwise people who hate foreigners or those who live permanently in the past will own it instead.

This embrace could involve certain national activities and the creation of a historical and cultural story specific to England.

He also said the other Nations had embraced their identities much better than England had.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Rt Revd Chartres said: "It seems to me we also have a role in articulating a more inclusive version of the English story.

"Scotland, Ireland, Wales have in recent years very properly recovered a sense of their own special identity.

"And if there is no comparable development and celebration of the English story in which creative effort is made to weave new strands into the national narrative and national rituals then the field will be left empty for the xenophobic and the terminally nostalgic."

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