Just before Christmas, Dr Gavin Ashenden, a former Chaplain to the Queen, converted to Catholicism. But that’s not the main subject of my interview with him in the first Holy Smoke episode of 2020. In it, he deplores the Church of England’s surrender to secularism under Archbishop Justin Welby, who won’t enjoy his former colleague’s assessment of his talents.
Dr Ashenden may not be Anglican any more, but he does think that the Established Church has a historic mission – and that its ‘middle managers’ have betrayed it in favour of ‘soft socialism’. To which I reply that Pope Francis is busy hoisting the white flag, or perhaps a red one, on the other side of the Tiber. At which point our conversation takes an unexpected turn. Don’t miss it!