Friday, 9 May 2008

'Christian and Evangelical Groups Often Ignored and Derided'

I have been reading on several blogs of the dismay some Christians are feeling at the recent election of Conservative Boris Johnson as the new Mayor of London. Perhaps this comment posted by Matt Cresswell on 7th May on will bring a little comfort to these bloggers, but time will tell how much the new Mayor uses these sentiments in the governing of London.

"BORIS JOHNSON, the new Mayor of London, has claimed that evangelical faith communities are being shunned in modern society.

In an interview with, he said that the good work done by many Christian and evangelical groups is often just ignored and derided. “I think there is a culture now in our society where if something is even vaguely Christian, if there is a whiff of evangelical fervour about it then it’s almost somehow verboten to fund it,” he told the paper at a hustings event in the lead-up to the election.

He continued: “I think that’s quite wrong because if you look at the good that these groups do and you look at the way we’re going to transform society and undo the breakdown that we’ve seen in family life, the growing-up of kids without boundaries and all the rest of the things we’ve been talking about in this campaign, the Christian groups are essential.”

He also told us that he wanted to be a “mayor who campaigns for all Londoners and Londoners of all faiths”.

He added that he would not be campaigning for a “narrow Christian agenda” but did believe that his message was “appealing to Christians”. He also noted the good works done by the growing faith-based voluntary sector. “Everywhere I go in London -- and I go to boxing clubs, reading groups, Ray Lewis’ Eastside young leaders -- I see people who have faith who are transforming kids, steering them away from crime.”

Johnson was baptised a Catholic but admits he has a fluctuating faith. “I suppose my own [faith] is a bit like trying to get Virgin Radio when you’re driving through the Chilterns. It sort of comes and goes.” He added: “Sometimes the signal is strong and then sometimes, I’m afraid, it just vanishes. And then it comes back again. That’s where I am.”

Johnson beat his main opponent Ken Livingstone in the London mayoral race by 139,772 votes last week. The result completed a victorious day for the Conservative party in an election which saw the greatest Labour losses countrywide in 40 years. Johnson is now viewed by critics as the most powerful Conservative politician in Britain today.

He has promised to work “flat out” to fulfil his electoral promises. He has so far spoken of a tough approach to crime and has signalled the go-ahead for weekend boot camps for troubled teenagers."



Sally said...

I like his illustration of faith being like virgin radio- I suspect that if many of us were more honest we would empathise, but I guess that is where committment comes in... I hear nothing and yet I choose to believe!

Olive Morgan said...

Maybe Pentecost 2009 had better get him involved! Pentecost 2008 could have been too close to his election, but if the spark is there, maybe Pentecost 2009 can fan it into flame. At least he was honest about his 'faith'.