Published: 10:29, 19 September 2011
by Sian Napier
Canterbury Cathedral’s nave was packed on Friday evening when comedian Frank Skinner was in conversation with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.
In front of an audience of about 800 the pair talked about funny and serious topics in equal measure, including the new wave of atheism and the chances of the Church of England reuniting with the Roman Catholic faith.
Emily Shepherd, director of communications for Canterbury Diocese, said that one of the things which came out of the discussion was that it was all right to have doubts.
“The Archbishop said it was acceptance which mattered rather than winning an argument,” she said. “It is the difference that religion makes to people’s lives and whether they feel accepted which is the important thing.”
After Mr Skinner and Dr Williams’ discussion questions were invited from the audience.
These ranged from whether drugs should be decriminalised and the quality of sermons and whether they should be replaced by debates or seminars.
The “in conversation” event was part of The Gathering, a two-day Christian festival, which took place on Friday and Saturday.
See this week's Gazette for full story and pictures.