Page last updated at 00:02 GMT, Sunday, 15 November 2009

Cameron speaks of Christian faith

David Cameron
David Cameron said that he does pray when he goes to church

David Cameron has said he is a Christian who believes in God and goes to church, although "not as regularly as I should".

The Conservative leader said Sunday School was one of his earliest memories, but said he did not "drop to my knees" and ask for help in a crisis.

However Mr Cameron added his Christian faith was a "part of who I am".

His comments on the BBC's Songs of Praise diverge from other party leaders who have not discussed their beliefs.

Mr Cameron was brought up in an old rectory and told BBC One's Songs of Praise, which was filmed in his Oxfordshire constituency of Witney, that his family were "relatively regular churchgoers".

For me, and I suspect for lots of other people too, bad things actually sometimes make you think more about faith and the fact that you're not facing these things on your own
David Cameron

He said: "I believe in God and I'm a Christian and I worship - not as regularly as I should - but I go to church.

"Do I drop to my knees and ask for guidance whenever an issue comes up? No, I don't. But it's part of who I am.

"For me, and I suspect for lots of other people too, bad things actually sometimes make you think more about faith and the fact that you're not facing these things on your own."

While in office Tony Blair said he did not "do God", however on leaving office he set up his "Faith Foundation" to promote inter-faith dialogue. Mr Blair also converted to Catholicism after standing down as prime minister.

Egotism and altruism

And although Gordon Brown's father was a minister, and he often speaks about the values he inherited from him, he rarely talks about his personal faith.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg sparked controversy when he became the only leader of a major party to openly declare he does not believe in God.

Mr Cameron said praying is "a quiet time when you can reflect a bit about your life and your family and your responsibilities and ask some questions".

He added that he sees politicians as a blend of egotism and altruism.

"Politicians are always a bit of a mixture of ego and altro and you just hope that the altro wins out and that people do the right thing rather than the politically convenient thing."



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