Bishop Mark Davies will say that Britain does not need a new identity because it already has a rich Christian heritage
The people of Britain should not forget what they owe to their Christian heritage, the Bishop of Shrewsbury will say in his Christmas homily.
During midnight Mass at Shrewsbury Cathedral, Bishop Mark Davies will liken Britain’s loss of Christian identity to that of a person with amnesia and will warn against the seductions of ideologies with “messianic claims” that can replace religion.
“The Christian faith has guarded us from placing undue confidence in passing leaders or political movements,” Bishop Davies will say. “We have seen how misplaced confidence in secular, messianic claims left a trail of terrible devastation in the past century.”
“In the Child born in Bethlehem we have already found the One who alone can save us. And in the long story of our land, every monarch, all earthly power has been called to bend the knee before this Child ‘born for us’ and the love and truth he reveals.”
Britain does not need to search for a new identity, the bishop adds, because it already has a rich Christian identity formed by “grace and history”. Britons should therefore be “true to the very Christian calling which formed our nation especially when we are faced with difficult choices and reconciling contradictory visions of what our future might be”.
“In the light of Christmas, may we never lose this perspective on the passing crises of time nor be deceived by false claims of political salvation,” Bishop Davies will say. “Should we ever forget what we owe to Christmas and to our Christian inheritance, then in confused times we might become like someone who loses their memory and are in danger of assuming a false identity.”
He continues: “May the bright light of this national holiday lead us to pray for our political leaders and all who have responsibility in our public life. May we find our way together by being true to that Light which first shone in Bethlehem and has continued to guide all generations.”