Actress Ruth Wilson has said she “can’t bear” going to church after becoming disengaged with Catholicism while growing up.
She said she “hated” going after she got older and learnt more about the religion’s teachings.
The actress, who starred in the Northern Lights television series, made the comments during a conversation with Sir Philip Pullman, the author of the novel the programme is based on.
Wilson said: “I am Catholic, but don’t go any more.”
She said she would go to church as a child and “just sit and listen to the stories, and as a young kid you like the stories”.
“But then you start listening to the lectures as you get older and become more conscious and self-conscious of everything they’re lecturing about, you start listening to actually what they’re lecturing about and then I started hating going.”
Wilson said she “can’t really go in a church anymore”, adding: “My dad still goes and when I go with him, for him, I just sit there and I can’t bear it.”
Reacting to Wilson's comments, Michael Harvey, CEO of National Weekend of invitation, said: "We in our generation have defined church as an act of worship between 10 o'clock on a Sunday morning at 12. That's not satisfactory. And so I can totally understand Ruth's comments because who wants to be lectured. So I like to define churches where two or three are gathered in my name."
He went to explain his ideas of how Christians can engage with those who have decided to reject Christianity as a consequence of their experiences as children.
"We got an idea of prayer that essentially it's all down to God. But what if kind of God has dropped that name into our minds and God is saying right off you go. And so what I basically say to people is once the name is dropped into one's mind, then pray for them. If you want to pick up the phone and go for a walk with ring them and say these three words, how are you.
"I can imagine, you know, that with somebody like Ruth that, a Christian would be nudged, to connect and all of a sudden, over a cup of coffee or a socially distanced walk, you know, there would be an engagement again with God who wants to know us personally," he continued.
The full interview between Sir Philip and Wilson is featured as bonus content on the audiobook edition of Northern Lights by Sir Philip, re-released on Thursday by Penguin Audio and available from all audiobook retailers.
Additional reporting by Kelly Valencia