Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Do Londoners Still Have Faith?

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Do Londoners Still Have Faith?

Article excerpt

Byline: Joshi Herrmann

STUDENT LUCY BRISBANE (RIGHT), 19, BLACKHEATH Do you believe in God? I don't believe in any God or religion. I suppose I'm a humanist. Is London religious? None of my friends are, and I don't think that just comes from being young and not living in religious circles. There are religious societies at my university but at Goldsmiths I don't think they're very big -- in fact, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender society is by far the largest. As Londoners, we are confronted by religion from time to time on the street but it's such a diverse city that I doubt it affects many people. I hope not anyway.

CITY HIGH-FLIER CHARLOTTE BLACK, 51, CORPORATE AFFAIRS DIRECTOR, LAMBETH Do you believe in God? Yes, I am an Anglo-Catholic and try to go to All Saints in Margaret Street, W1, on Sundays and special feast days when I can.

Is London religious? It must be one of the most multidenominational cities in the world, which is good.

LIVING-WAGER CHARLENE LEGG, 25, VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR, LEYTONSTONE Do you believe in God? No, although I respect people who do. I admire the way religion brings people together. Last year I worked at a migrant and refugee centre and saw the strength people took from their religious beliefs when facing personal difficulties. I also had the opportunity to celebrate festivals such as Eid and Diwali, where I ate lovely foods that I would never normally have had the chance to try.

Is religion being sidelined or downgraded? Secularism seeks to separate religion from politics -- it does not seek to reject religion altogether. With that in mind, I think a growing number of Londoners share secular views -- particularly when it comes to funding for faith schools, or Sharia law.

BANKER DAVID BLANC, 41, WEALTH MANAGER, SOUTHWARK Do you believe in God? Yes, I am a Roman Catholic and I go to church every week. For me the time I spend praying is a privileged moment of peace and tranquillity away from the excitement and superficiality of our modern lives. It is a critical time for me to reflect on my life and my future. Is London religious? My impression is that London is becoming more secular. …

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