Holy Smoke: Unlock the churches!

Apr 03, 04:32 PM
Harry Mount, the editor of The Oldie, is appalled that thanks to the coronavirus regulations, he can't seek spiritual comfort in any of Britain's glorious churches. And he's not a religious believer. 

In this week's Holy Smoke podcast, Harry tells me why the ban on even entering a church is so pointless: he describes it as a giant exercise in 'our old friend, virtue-signalling' by the Anglican and Catholic hierarchies. I couldn't agree more. It was the bishops, not the Government, who came up with the idea of a total lockdown. One minute they're opening their cathedrals to helter-skelters and crazy golf; the next they're grossly exaggerating the health risks of solitary and well-regulated visits to churches. (No one disputes that a temporary ban on public liturgies is necessary.)

But this episode is about much more than the current outbreak of control-freakery from their Lordships. Harry Mount is an agnostic; why does he feel the need to visit churches? His answer to this question is fascinating and uplifting.

Holy Smoke is hosted by Damian Thompson, who dissects the most important and controversial topics in world religion, with a range of high profile guests. Click here to find previous episodes.