On the road to Canterbury with NPR

NPR’s Rob Gifford is doing a series, The New Canterbury Tales, tracing the forty miles from London to Canterbury. Part 3 is titled “Importance Of Church Slips Rapidly Among British.” Some excerpts:

Britain has become one of the most secular countries in Europe. The English church has always seemed to swing between the two extremes: from the piousness of Puritanism to the dissolute courts of the Restoration; from the high tide of Victorian evangelicalism to the deep and broad secularism of the 20th century and beyond.

Taxi driver Bashir, who didn’t want to give his family name, says there are many things he likes about Britain. He says he does not regret coming — he is a recent Muslim immigrant from Kashmir — and that there are many opportunities for his children. But, like the Nigerian Christians, he has discovered a different Britain to the one he had been taught about and was expecting.

“I can’t believe when the people sit here, and at the end of the journey, instead of saying thank you, they run away without paying,” he says. “And sometimes they kick our cabs — they spit [in] our face. So, the future is in these people’s hands?”

It’s a question that many people are asking.

Read it all. You can listen, too.

Charles Darwin, Michael Nazir-Ali, the Church-of-England sort of God, and the binge drinking culture all make an experience.

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