Marcus Walker

The Revd Marcus Walker is Rector of the Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great, London.

How liberal bishops are squeezing the life out of the Church of England

28 min listen

Can the Church of England escape from the deadly grip of bishops and bureaucrats who spend their entire time genuflecting to the metropolitan Left? Why does Archbishop Justin Welby wade obsessively into secular political battles when his churches are emptying? And do worshippers realise that eye-watering sums of money are being siphoned off from their

Hell is the multi-faith prayer room at Bristol Airport

When the Roman Emperor Justinian finished building the Hagia Sophia church in Constantinople in 537 he compared it to the great temple in Jerusalem. ‘Solomon, I have surpassed thee,’ he declared. Some 400 years later, as visiting ambassadors from Kyiv were led into the same ethereal structure, they remarked: ‘We did not know if we

Italy’s new wave: Europe’s escalating migrant crisis

45 min listen

This week: Christopher Caldwell writes The Spectator’s cover piece on Italy’s new wave of migrants. This is in light of the situation in Lampedusa which he argues could upend European politics. Chris joins the podcast alongside Amy Kazmin, Rome correspondent at the Financial Times, to debate Europe’s escalating migrant crisis. (01:23) Also this week: In his column, Matthew Parris

Is the Church of England giving up on Sunday worship?

What a clash of the titans we witnessed at the weekend. The Lionesses vs Divine Worship on a Sunday morning. An unfortunate conflict of timings meant that just as the England women’s football team were limbering up to kick the first ball in Australia, church services in England were launching into their first hymn. The

There is something truly counter cultural about Midnight Mass

‘And girls in slacks remember Dad, And oafish louts remember Mum, And sleepless children’s hearts are glad. And Christmas-morning bells say “Come!” Even to shining ones who dwell Safe in the Dorchester Hotel.’ ‘Christmas’. This poem by Betjeman conjures the magic of the season; conveys in its beat the sense of summons to the place

The poignancy of preparing a service after the Queen’s death

Thursday was a curious day for us all. Anyone watching the news was treated to the complexity of commentators trying desperately hard not to say the thing that everyone watching knew was happening: that the Queen was dying, and was possibly already dead. The black ties around the presenters’ necks, the emergency flights from London

Boris has Gordon Brown to thank for his bishop troubles

Bishops are in the news at the moment. They have outraged No. 10 with their opposition to the policy of deporting potential asylum seekers and other migrants to Rwanda. Government ministers are said to be muttering darkly about evicting the Bishops from the House of Lords, effectively disestablishing the Church of England in revenge. This

How bureaucrats are suffocating the Church of England

14 min listen

In the latest Holy Smoke, I ask the Rev Marcus Walker, Rector of St Bartholomew the Great in the City of London, about the Church of England’s plans to create a new breed of bureaucrat-bishop who will pontificate about climate change, Brexit, Covid or whatever without having to bother looking after a diocese. He also

Christmas Special

90 min listen

Welcome to the special Christmas episode of The Edition! In this episode, we look at five major topics that dominated the news this year and the pages of The Spectator. First up a review of the year in politics with our resident Coffee House Shots’ team James Forsyth, Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman. We discuss

Can C of E parishes stop bureaucrats wasting their money?

31 min listen

If you belong to or care about the Church of England, you may be shocked by some of the things you learn in this episode of Holy Smoke. I’m not referring to the familiar evidence that the Established Church, in common with all mainstream Christian denominations in Britain, is watching its congregations shrink at a

Revd Marcus Walker, Douglas Murray and Petronella Wyatt

24 min listen

On this week’s episode: Revd Marcus Walker shares his concern and disapproval at being described by the Church of England as an ‘Key Limiting Factor’ (00:26). Then Douglas Murray looks at the tricky subject of transracialism (09:48)And finally Petronella Wyatt gives her two cents on modern day Westminster culture (17:15). Presented by Sam Holmes

How China bought Cambridge

41 min listen

What level of control does China have at Cambridge University? (00:48) Also on the podcast: Will the Church of England’s new plans for modernisation leave us with an institution we even recognise? (10:26) And finally let’s talk about Streaking, indecent exposure or proud British pastime of joy and humour? (27:26) With Ian Williams author of

Is this the last chance to save the Church of England?

I am a key limiting factor. That’s a new one for a clergyman of the Church of England. We’ve traded under parson, cleric, priest, minister, padre and even pie-and-liquor, but never before have I heard us described as ‘key limiting factors’. That this phrase was used during the announcement of a new C of E-endorsed scheme —

Holy Relic: What will be left of the Church after the pandemic?

34 min listen

Are parish churches about to be devastated by bureaucracy and mismanagement? (00:55) What’s the story behind the UK’s vaccination efforts? (07:55) Has an intransigent union stopped firefighters from helping the Covid response? (21:55) With church volunteer Emma Thompson; Rector of Great St Barts Marcus Walker; The Spectator‘s deputy political editor Katy Balls; senior project manager

The misguided priorities of church authorities

This has been a tough year for everyone. Death, mental collapse, grief, unemployment. In my church we’ve lost people to Covid — one of the earliest victims was a regular at our 9 a.m. Communion. We’ve lost people to mental health — one of the homeless men who came to our services, and who used

The tragedy of this year’s Remembrance Sunday

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them. This Remembrance Sunday will be like no other, but one thing will stay constant: these lines, by Laurence Binyon,

If anything is essential, it’s worship

That the Church of England shall be free, and shall have all her whole Rights and Liberties inviolable. There are few clauses of Magna Carta that are still in force today. Most have been whittled away by the stultifying hands of generations of bureaucrats. But one clause still stands in its in 800-year-old majesty: that

Don’t erase Jesus’s Jewish identity

‘So when did your family convert to Christianity?’ asked an American General early on in the occupation of Iraq. ‘About two thousand years ago,’ replied the Iraqi. The Middle Eastern culture and context of Christ is something that the Western Church seems happy to forget. That Jesus was very specifically a Jew is something we