Quintessentially English

This is the saddest story I’ve read in a while (and I’m not a practicing Christian myself):

Quintessential Englishman

The Church of England is creating a new bishop specifically to reach out to black, Asian [The Brits refer to Pakistanis as ‘Asians’ – LM] and minority ethnic people and to drive cultural change in one of the UK’s most diverse cities.

The diocese of Leicester has petitioned the Queen for permission to create a new see, and expects the new suffragan bishop of Loughborough to be in post by the end of the year.

Non-Quintessential ‘Englishman’

Despite his or her title, the new bishop will be based mainly in Leicester, one of the first majority black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) cities in the UK. In the 2011 census, only 45% of the city’s population identified as white British…

He added: “We’re going to have to make some cultural adjustment. The C of E is seen as quintessentially English, but we have a lot to learn from other cultures.”

With more mosques than churches in London today, what difference does it make, I suppose.

Once I am sure there’s nothing going on
I step inside, letting the door thud shut.
Another church: matting, seats, and stone,
And little books; sprawlings of flowers, cut…

But superstition, like belief, must die,
And what remains when disbelief has gone?
Grass, weedy pavement, brambles, buttress, sky,

A shape less recognizable each week,
A purpose more obscure. I wonder who
Will be the last, the very last, to seek
This place for what it was; one of the crew
That tap and jot and know what rood-lofts were?
Some ruin-bibber, randy for antique,
Or Christmas-addict, counting on a whiff
Of gown-and-bands and organ-pipes and myrrh?

— From Philip Larkin’s “Church Going

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