Anglican priests agree – Britain is not a Christian country

30 August, 2023

A poll carried out among frontline Anglican clergy published today shows that even Anglican clergy think Britain is not Christian and there is strong desire for significant changes in church doctrine. This is in stark contrast to the statement made in 2014 by then Prime Minister David Cameron when he declared he was ‘proud of the fact we’re a Christian country’.

The survey of 1,200 serving Church of England priests conducted by the Times found that almost two-thirds of priests said Britain can be called Christian ‘but only historically, not currently’, and a further 9% answered ‘no’ Britain cannot be described as a Christian country. Other findings included that a majority of priests (53%) thought the Church of England should conduct same-sex weddings, and a further majority (63%) thought the church should drop its opposition to premarital sex.

Humanists UK has long campaigned for recognition that this is an increasingly plural and non-religious society. The latest census results show that the UK is now among the least religious countries in the world, yet there are still many laws which allow privilege for religious groups. These include religious discrimination in state school admissions and employment, the requirement for Christian collective worship in all schools, blasphemy laws in Northern Ireland, failure to legally recognise humanist marriages and automatic seats for bishops in the House of Lords.

Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented:

‘When even most of its clergy say this isn’t a Christian country, it’s high time to separate church and state. 

‘We need new arrangements for our diverse and mostly secular nation where all religions and beliefs are treated equally. Changes in the House of Lords, in education, and in all areas of public life where one religion is given priority are overdue. The government needs to listen to this survey along with the Census results and start repealing outdated laws which no longer reflect or serve our society.’


Read the full survey results here:

Read more on our work on secularism 

Read our report on the 2021 census results

For further comment or information, media should contact Kathy Riddick Humanists UK Campaigns Manager at or phone 07881 625378.

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by 110,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.