Sunday, November 1, 1998 Published at 20:03 GMT
Archbishop attacks dull church
The Archbishop of York: Church is "exclusive and issue-driven"
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.
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.
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.