I think I agree with a lot of what you say here, and clearly there is a lot thta is helpful to new arrivals, especially with English classes that also feature efforts at understanding and integration into British culture. I had a lovely and helpful morning a few months ago accompanying a group of asylum seekers on a visit to the town Hall and the Mayor's parlour, trying to explain the way our city is governed and our strange local customs.

But I think local context is very varied and very important. In metropolitan cities with 50+ years of UKME settlement there is a type of multicultural / intercultural Britishness.. And the local parish of the CofE is not usually very English! While down the road there may be a range of churches serving diaspora communities.

It's a bit different in the Northern ex "mill towns" where there are still residential and culturally segregated communities of Muslims and whites (who may identify as Chrisitian but mostly don't go to church). It can be pretty grim at the moment because of the war in Gaza and assumptions that all Palestianans are Muslim, that all Jews are on the side of the Israeli state, and that Christians also support them.

The biggest dificulty though is in the peripheral, strongly pro Brexit areas, especially where there has been "white flight" to the coast and countryside, as well as some "left behind" post industrial communities. These can be the most ethnically segregated and least multicultural areas, and the growing sense of "Englishness" has some racist and xenophobic elements.. If you are in an all white church in such an area there needs to be a different strategy of introducing "English" people to the joys and richness of diversity, and a critical history of Empire etc.

I'm very sceptical though about government attempts to instil "British Values" in schools and through the citizenship test, and would not like the Church to follow down that route.

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Maybe being English and being British needs more differentiation. Scottish and Welsh readers would think so.

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