He is asked if faith in God is important to him. "If you are asking, do I drop to my knees and pray for guidance, no. But do I have faith and is it important, yes. My own faith is there, it's not always the rock that perhaps it should be.”
Hmmm. Surely praying for God’s guidance is a basic part of Christian faith, and nothing to be ashamed of. He is trying hard to sound pro-God but not in a Blair-like way. And by saying that his faith is ‘not always the rock that perhaps it should be’ he is trying hard to sound calmly and self-critically religious. I recall him using a very similar phrase a few years ago, when asked how keen a churchgoer he was: he said he didn’t go as often as perhaps he should. And I remember thinking: if you feel you should go more, then why don’t you? It sounded like an attempt at having both ways: I’m a believer, but just a gentle agnostic one.
And he continues in this vein by identifying with the C of E: "I've a sort of fairly classic Church of England faith, a faith that grows hotter and colder by moments but...I suppose I sort of started life believing that one's individual faith was important, but actually the institutions of the church were less important. I do think that organised religion can get things wrong but the Church of England and the other churches do play a very important role in society."
Again: my Christian faith is in some ways more like agnosticism: don’t worry. Still he goes on: "I was a good, sceptical, questioning Christian when I was younger. I liked to think it through, thinking am I really sure about this? But I don't feel I have a direct line [to God]. I think that it's perfectly possible to live a good life without having faith, by which I mean a positive and altruistic life, but I think the teachings of Jesus just as the teachings of other religions are a good guide to help us through.”
He position on religion is very clear: he is determined to seem pro-God but not in a way that will cost him votes.