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[/audioplayer]I am training for ordained ministry at a Church of England theological college. I am a trainee vicar, if you will. I am also a Conservative, which puts me in an extremely small minority and quite a tricky position. At my college, there are approximately 60 ordinands in full-time residential training. Of those 60, there are no more than three or four who would describe themselves as Conservative and the overwhelming majority would call themselves (proudly) socialist. There is also a sizable minority of Marxists.
In recent weeks, our national press has seemed surprised that senior clergy in the C of E, and the Archbishop of Canterbury himself, have expressed left-wing views — criticising welfare cuts and so forth.