The Church of England still seemed an essential part of Englishness, and even of the British state, when Mrs Thatcher was elected in 1979. The decades which followed saw a seismic shift in the foundations of the C of E, leading to the loss of more than half its members and much of its influence. In England today `religion' has become a toxic brand, and Anglicanism something done by other people. How did this happen? Is there any way back?
This `relentlessly honest' and surprisingly entertaining book tells the dramatic and contentious story of the disappearance of the Church of England from the centre of public life. The authors - religious correspondent Andrew Brown and academic Linda Woodhead - watched this closely, one from the inside and one from the outside. That Was the Church, That Was shows what happened and explains why.
Andrew Brown is a leading religious journalist and an editorial board member, leader-writer and feature writer for the Guardian. He also writes frequently for the BBC, Spectator and The Oldie. Andrew is the winner of the Orwell Prize for Political Writing, the Templeton European Prize for Religious Journalism and was shortlisted for the Aventis Prize for Science writing for his book In the Beginning was the Worm. He has been Press columnist for the Church Times since 1996. Linda Woodhead is a Professor in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, Lancaster University. She is a co-founder of the Westminster Faith Debates and was Director of the GBP12m AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Programme (2007- 2013). She is currently carrying out a number of research initiatives on and for the Church of England. Linda is a regular broadcaster on research-related topics and has authored, edited or contributed to more than 20 published books.