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Sunday, November 1, 1998 Published at 20:03 GMT


Archbishop attacks dull church

The Archbishop of York: Church is "exclusive and issue-driven"

The BBC's Jane Warr: "Worshippers urged to recover God's vision"
One of the most senior figures in the Church of England has said the modern church has become dull.

In a sermon at his former London parish, the Archbishop of York, Doctor David Hope, said the church was becoming "exclusive and issue-driven", and increasingly irrelevant for large numbers of people.

[ image: Dr Hope's remarks were meant as an
Dr Hope's remarks were meant as an "incentive"
He also said the church desperately needed to recover what he called God's vision of wholeness, so that it could address the task of converting people to Christianity.

His comments were interpreted in some quarters as an attack on the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, but a spokesman for Dr Hope said he was simply trying to convey his own views on what direction the Church of England should be taking.

The spokesman at Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop of Canterbury's residence, stressed there was no difficulty between the two archbishops.

[ image: Lambeth Palace denies attack on the Archbishop of Canterbury]
Lambeth Palace denies attack on the Archbishop of Canterbury
"Traditionally the Archbishops of York and Canterbury are complementary, in the theological sense, and that is the case at the moment, with Dr Hope being an Anglo-Catholic and Dr Carey from the Evangelical tradition. I think that tension between them is a positive thing," he said.

The spokesman added the archbishop feared controversies like the rows over women priests and gay priests which were making the church lose sight of its core tasks of "marrying, baptising and teaching the scriptures".

He said the archbishop's remarks were intended as a "fillip" to fellow Anglo-Catholics who felt the Church of England was moving away from them.

Dr Hope will become the first archbishop to host a national radio show this week, when he presents Daily Service, on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday.

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