Leader: Keepers of the faith

This magazine has been committed to the values and principles of secularism and free inquiry ever since its foundation in 1913. But, as a magazine of ideas, we also believe that those values and principles should always be subject to scrutiny.

A century ago, many progressives believed that religion was in steep decline. "Secularisation", they thought, was irreversible. Today, the situation looks rather different. The falling away of religious belief and practice has slowed over the past decade as Britain has become much more diverse. And, as the Archbishop of Canterbury points out in an exclusive interview on page 30, there remains in societies such as ours a deep "religious longing". As much as they might like to, secularists can't wish such urges away.

This article first appeared in the 19 July 2010 issue of the New Statesman, Godless Britain