WHAT is the Church of England for?

When I was growing up, our national religion was one of the pillars of which this country was built. Our moral compass, our spiritual guide, our comfort in the hardest of times.

BBCToday’s Anglican church is rotten with woke culture and it is embodied in Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, the trendiest of vicars '/ '

There were two hymns at every school assembly, the Lord’s Prayer taken deadly seriously and, above all, real faith.

When I found myself in church — to sing carols at Christmas, to attend a wedding, to bury my parents — I had no doubt in my mind that I was in the presence of the sacred. As a nation, we believed. And now, we really don’t.

The Supreme Governor of the Church of England is the Queen and her faith has always seemed at the very centre of her life. Will King Charles III take his role as “defender of the faiths” as seriously? It seems unlikely.

Our faith has faded in a generation. And yet there is no shortage of converts being welcomed into the Church of England, although not always for the best reasons.

Back in 2017 the Bishop of Wakefield, the Right ­Reverend Tony Robinson admitted the Church had christened “hundreds” of asylum seekers hoping to use their new-found faith to win the right to stay in England.

The Home Office believes that embracing the Church of England is now “standard practice” among asylum seekers trying to “game the system”.

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This week, former MP Tom Harris said he was briefed back in 2001 by the Home Office about people-traffickers who routinely advised their clients to find God.

...If an applicant claimed to have ­converted from Islam to Christianity following his arrival in Britain, it would be the equivalent of a death sentence to remove them back to their home countries.”

Because Christians don’t get sent back to the Middle East. You don’t have to actually believe in any of that Bible stuff — you just have to convert then you can stay in Blighty forever. Hallelujah!

...Hopelessly naive'

The Liverpool taxi bomber, Emad Al-Swealmeen, took a five-week course to convert from Islam to Christianity in 2017. We will never know if his Christianity was sincere or just a cynical ruse to stay in the UK.

But as Al-Swealmeen died in a botched terrorist attack outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital on Remembrance Sunday, we can be forgiven for doubting his faith.

There is undeniably real decency among the Church of England’s dwindling congregation.

Martin and Elizabeth Hitchcott, the married couple who took the young Al-Swealmeen into their home for eight months, treated the future terrorist with generosity, kindness and love.

But the Anglican Church faces legitimate questions about asylum seekers who embrace Christianity as a means of avoiding deportation. The CofE stands accused of being “hopelessly naive” about fake converts.

It is something far worse than naivety. Today’s Anglican church is rotten with woke culture.

This week, the Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School in Richmond banned school houses named after ­Winston Churchill and JK Rowling — Churchill and the Harry Potter author deemed guilty of thought crimes among the self-righteously woke — and renamed them after England footballer Marcus Rashford and nurse Mary Seacole.

        Today’s Anglican church is rotten with woke culture. 

                Tony Parsons                

This does not promote diversity. It makes the Church of England look ­woefully out of touch from mainstream Britain. To millions of British people, Winston Churchill and JK Rowling don’t need to be cancelled.

The woke rot goes all the way to the top. It is embodied in Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, most senior bishop of the Church of England and the trendiest of vicars.

At the COP26 climate change conference in ­Glasgow, Welby weighed in with typically crass comments.

Trendiest of vicars

Welby  —  comically enough, a fat-cat oil industry exec before he entered the Church — reached for the woke morons’ all-purpose cliché, name-checking the Nazis to assert that climate change was “infinitely” worse than the ­Holocaust that sent six million men, women and children to the gas chambers.

“I unequivocally apologise,” Welby later grovelled.

The trendy vicar who no longer seems to believe in God does not believe in nothing — he believes in anything.

Climate change. Globalism. But never patriotism. Never mainstream values.Always the same predictably left-wing, liberal baloney.

Justin Welby was no help to this ­country during the pandemic. As the pandemic raged and death rates soared, he even had the grotesque insensitivity to announce he would be taking a sabbatical for three months for “spiritual renewal”.

The booby was an embarrassment at COP26. His Church holds the coats of fake Christian converts. No wonder our faith is fading.

Welby has called for Britain to be “generous” to migrants fleeing conflict, simpering that Jesus was a refugee (arguable — Jesus spent his lifetime in the Roman Empire). But this nation IS generous.

That’s why nobody is risking their life trying to sneak into France. Yet that is not the same as being taken for mugs. And under Justin Welby, the Anglican church has become nothing more than the religious wing of Twitter.

Tony ParsonsUnder Justin Welby, the Anglican church has become nothing more than the religious wing of Twitter, says Tony Parsons '/ '

Sad 007 not stirred

AN academic study of the 24 James Bond films prior to No Time To Die reveals that, traditionally, 007 took between seven and eight sentences to get the latest Bond conquest ­sighing: “Oh, James!”

Not any more.

GettyDaniel Craig’s newly neutered 007 did not even notice Ana de Armas's slit dress '/ '

In No Time To Die, Ana de Armas, above, wore a dress slashed down to her navel and up to her hip.

And Daniel Craig’s newly neutered 007 did not even notice.

        Good break-up albums

I LOVE a really good break-up album. Bob Dylan’s best LP is Blood On The Tracks – his divorce record. Jackson Browne’s lesser known I’m Alive – about breaking up with Daryl Hannah – is just as good. Adele’s fourth studio album, 30, was released on ­Friday and inspired by her divorce from ex-husband Simon Konecki. And the wonderful thing about Adele is, all her records are break-up albums.

AGEING KING IS WORRY

ON a tour of the Middle East, Prince Charles reassures well-wishers about the Queen’s health.

“She’s all right, thank you very much,” Charles said. “Once you get to 95, it’s not quite as easy as it used to be. It’s bad enough at 73!” Charles turned 73 last week.

RexWhen the transition from Queen Elizabeth II to King Charles III eventually happens, the venerable Queen will be replaced by an alarmingly elderly King '/ '

His words are a reminder that the Queen was a very young mother – 22 years old when Prince Charles was born in November 1948.

When the transition from Queen Elizabeth II to King Charles III eventually happens, one of the strangest things will be seeing our beloved, venerable Queen replaced by an alarmingly elderly King.

Strange but true – there is a bigger age gap between Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones than there is between the Queen and Prince Charles.

BLOODY borders are just such a pain in the bloody arse,” rants Paul Lincoln, the outgoing head of the UK Border Force. Paul, mate – you may have been in the wrong bloody job.

JILLY’S PUP JOY

WHEN should you own your last dog?

Novelist Jilly Cooper, 84, has lost her beloved rescue greyhound Bluebell and announced she plans to get another dog after she has banged out her new book.

Rex FeaturesWho would deny 84-year-old novelist Jilly Cooper one last four-legged love? '/ '

Cue howls of disapproval, crying Jilly is too ancient to get another dog.

But Jilly is a fanatical dog lover – she did not take a holiday for more than 20 years because she did not want to leave Bluebell.

I always thought that we owe it to our dogs to outlive them. But with some 130,000 dogs without a home, perhaps the most important thing is simply that we love them as much as we can for as long as we can.

Who would deny Jilly Cooper one last four-legged love?

Rafiq's own slurs

AZEEM RAFIQ’S evidence about racism in cricket was harrowing, emotional and genuinely upsetting.

But just days after Rafiq’s testimony it was revealed that he has made anti-Semitic slurs about Jews.

The 30-year-old issued an apology online almost instantly after discovering the comments he postedThe revelation of Rafiq’s own racist remarks do not negate what he said about racism in cricket

The revelation of Rafiq’s own racist remarks do not negate what he said about racism in cricket.

But it does suggest that our world does not divide neatly into goodies and baddies.

MEG’S CRINGE BINGE

SOME folk were decidedly nervous about Meghan Markle appearing on another US talk show.

What secrets would she reveal to Ellen DeGeneres? Would Mrs Sussex speak her truth? Could the Royal Family survive?

EllentubeMeghan Markle was never a Hollywood star, and now we know why '/ '

We were not this afraid of the Luftwaffe. As it transpired, Markle’s interview with Ellen was her most revealing yet.

Because the ghastly truth is finally out. Meghan is dull. She is – at best – California’s excruciating stab at Jeremy Beadle.

Yes, Meghan’s sub-Candid Camera “pranks” were cringeworthy.

True, Ellen’s questions were so unchallenging she made Oprah Winfrey look like the Spanish Inquisition.

But beyond the anodyne chat and asinine stunts, a great shining truth was revealed. Meghan is boring.

Meghan Markle was never a Hollywood star. And now we know why.

Surly hubby

She is not funny. She has no charm. Listening to Meghan talk is like having a general anaesthetic. Her organic chickens have more interesting showbiz tales.

Who wants to hear some former B-list actress reminiscing about auditioning for crappy American TV shows? Not Ellen DeGeneres, if the star of Suits (me neither) had never married a real English Prince.

The only thing Ellen and Meghan have in common is being linked to accusations of bullying of staff. How long ago it seems when this country welcomed Meghan with open heart, open minds and open arms.

If she – and her surly hubby – had stuck it out in the UK, resigning themselves to the life of duty, service and obligation that comes with the palatial retreats and unimaginable privilege, Meghan would have been loved.

But she turned her back on all that for the sake of embarrassing stunts, joyless Hollywood japes and celebrity chums who would have had no interest in her if she had never married into the Royal Family she despises so much.

It is painfully clear that Meghan has been given a platform too vast for her limited talents. Stick to the racy royal revelations, Duchess.

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