Is God Still an Englishman?, By Cole Moreton

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The Independent Culture

The start of this sparky book is like one of Max Beerbohm's cartoons in which famous figures meet their younger selves. Cole Moreton imagines meeting himself as "a cocky young Christian" offering platitudes to a dying friend: "I would have punched his lights out."

He takes the spiritual pulse of Britain in a host of ways: "Why do we believe... playing football or queuing to buy Rawlplugs [is] better than going to church?"

Though he ends by comparing the Church of England to Wile E Coyote running furious though he's over a cliff, he praises the "poignant and personal" sermon in the Anglican church where Jade Goody's funeral took place. Though he sometimes overdoes the chirpy chappie stuff, this is a penetrating book.