A Christian MP has told parliament that it would be a "constitutional and spiritual disaster" to try to erase the UK's Christian heritage.
During a debate about the role of Christianity in society, Nick Fletcher MP was asked by Sir Edward Leigh, the Conservative MP for Gainsborough, to share his thoughts on the importance of keeping the Church of England to be as the established church following recent calls for it to lose its privileged status.
Pointing out the Church of England's role in the House of Lords, the daily prayers said in both chambers, the murals celebrating the patron saints of the United Kingdom and the psalms inscribed on the tiled floor, Fletched advocated in favour of the established church and its influence on the nation's institutions.
"Many people who do not have a personal faith in Christ still value this history and the benefits it has given us," Fletcher added. "Of course, some want to rewrite history, but everywhere we look, we see our Christian heritage, and nowhere more than in this place."
He continued: "It matters to our national life; it is the air we breathe. Although many deride and misrepresent it, the reality is that it has been a source of great benefit. Much of what makes Britain great stems from that heritage, and many others from around the world recognise that. Why do we not? We should be proud of our Christian history and values. It would be a constitutional disaster to try to erase it—even worse, it would be a spiritual disaster."
The Conservative MP for Don Valley tabled the 'Christianity in Society' motion in the light of the continued decline of influence that the Christ-centred-faith has in the nation, citing the Church of England's current debate of "well-known ethical teaching that is now considered controversial" and the latest census showing fewer people identifying as followers of Christ.
Highlighting the Christian faith of historical figures such as John Locke, William Wilberforce, Lord Shaftesbury and Hannah More, among others, Fletcher took the opportunity to argue for Christianity's value to UK institutions and society.
He believes Christianity has played a significant role in shaping the laws and values of the UK and feels that preserving this heritage is crucial for cultural and faith reasons.
"Throughout British history, the Christian Church has pioneered some of the most profound and positive social changes ever to bless these islands. Here, as in many other parts of the world, Christians led the way with universal education and healthcare. As the historian Tom Holland and many others have recognised, so many of the laws and values that we now take for granted have their roots firmly in the Christian faith," he added.
Other MPs also participated in the debate, including Fiona Bruce, Peter Grant, Martin Vickers, Matt Rodda, and Sarah Owen.