Politicians of all faiths, and none, name their favourite UK churches


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The Independent Online

Britain's most senior Muslim politician and two atheist party political leaders are among figures from the world of politics, arts and entertainment to nominate their favourite UK churches.

Labour Leader Ed Miliband and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, both of whom have declared they do not believe in God, have placed their favourite churches on a list issued to mark the 60th anniversary of the National Churches Trust.

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Mr Miliband, MP for Doncaster North, said he was naming the Norman St Mary Magdalene Church in Campsall, Doncaster as his favourite church.

"St Mary Magdalene is said to be the church where Robin Hood and Maid Marian were married," he told the trust.

"As strong believers in redistribution the people of Doncaster North are happy to reclaim his roots."

Mr Clegg nominated the 15th century grade one St Nicholas' Church in High Bradfield, in his Sheffield Hallam constituency, while Baroness Warsi, minister for faith and communities, and a Muslim, named Dewsbury Minster, within her home town of Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, as her favourite church.

"This beautiful church is well loved by Dewsbury people of all faiths, including my own Muslim community, and I pray that it continues to prosper for another 1,400 years and more," Lady Warsi said.

Prime Minister David Cameron nominated All Saints Church in Spelsbury, Oxfordshire, recalling the "very special memory" of his late son Ivan's christening at the church. He also names St Mary the Virgin in Witney, Oxfordshire, as a church for which he has "great affection".

Mayor of London Boris Johnson nominates St Magnus the Martyr Church, in the City of London, and Ukip leader Nigel Farage describes St Thomas A Becket Church in Romney Marsh, Kent, as "quite enchanting".

Other celebrities listing their favourite churches include actor Brian Blessed who nominates Great Houghton Methodist Church in South Yorkshire and Joanna Lumley, who praises St Bride's Church in Fleet Street, central London, as a "little gem".

Comedian Hugh Dennis describes the "beautiful" St Michael's Church, in Up Marden, West Sussex, as a "fantastic place of calm, and for contemplation".

Monty Python star Michael Palin praises St Margaret of Antioch Church, Abbotsley, Cambridgeshire, where he was married, while actor Sir Patrick Stewart nominates Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon where Shakespeare is buried.

Explorer Bear Grylls nominates Holy Trinity Church, Brompton, west London, where the Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev Justin Welby was once a worshipper and lay leader.

Claire Walker, chief executive of the National Churches Trust, which promotes church conservation, said it hoped the list would help highlight the awareness of churches as some of the UK's "most important and well-loved" buildings.

"The UK's 47,000 churches, chapels and meeting houses are a tremendous asset to the nation," she said.

"Together, they form an unparalleled network of public buildings which sustain local communities."


Here is a list of the UK's favourite churches as chosen by 60 people from the world of politics, entertainment, journalism and academia.


Holy Trinity Church, Ferry Lane, Cookham - chosen by TV presenter Timmy Mallett.


Cotteridge Quaker Meeting House, 23a Watford Road, Cotteridge - chosen by Paul Parker, Recording Clerk of the Quakers in Britain.


Holy Trinity Church, Church Road, Penn - chosen by cookery author Mary Berry.

St Mary the Virgin, Well Hill Road, Fawley Green, Fawley, Wycombe - chosen by broadcaster Ben Fogle.

St Nicolas' Church, High Street, Taplow - chosen by TV personality Sir Terry Wogan.


St Margaret of Antioch Church, Abbotsley - chosen by broadcaster Michael Palin.


St Endellion Church, St Endellion, Port Isaac - chosen by Rt Rev and Rt Hon Lord Rowan Williams of Oystermouth, the former Archbishop of Canterbury.


Brigflatts Friends Meeting House, Brigflatts, near Sedbergh - chosen by astrophysicist Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell.


Holy Trinity Church, Torbryan Hill, Torbryan - chosen by round-the-world sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.


Sherborne Abbey, Abbey Close, Sherborne - chosen by businesswoman and charity leader Camila Batmanghelidjh.


All Saints Church, Parsons Lane, Bisley - chosen by author Jilly Cooper.


Church of St Mary and St David, Castle Park, Kilpeck - chosen by arts journalist Alastair Sooke.


St Edmund's College Chapel, Old Hall Green, Ware - chosen by Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster


St Thomas a Becket Church, Fairfield, Romney Marsh - chosen by Ukip leader Nigel Farage.


St Wilfrid's Church, Church Road, Kibworth Beauchamp - chosen by historian and broadcaster Michael Wood.


Collegiate Church of Holy Trinity, Sleaford Road, Tattershall - chosen by Julia Hanmer, chief executive of the Bat Conservation Trust.


St Bride's Church, Fleet Street - chosen by TV presenter Giles Coren, and also actress Joanna Lumley.

Holy Trinity Church, Brompton Road, Kensington - chosen by adventurer Bear Grylls.

St Matthew's Church, North Common Road, Ealing - chosen by historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes.

St Magnus the Martyr Church, Lower Thames Street - chosen by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.

All Saints Church, Margaret Street, W1 - chosen by Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Farm Street Catholic Church, 114 Mount Street, W1 - chosen by hotelier and broadcaster Alex Polizzi.

St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square - chosen by Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter.

St Anne's Church, Commercial Road, Newell Street, Limehouse - chosen by former First Sea Lord Admiral the Rt Hon Lord West of Spithead.

St Mary's Church, Church Road, Little Ilford, Manor Park, Newham - chosen by Rev Lucy Winkett, an Anglican priest and contributor to BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day.


St Peter and St Paul RC Church, 161 Liverpool Road, Crosby, Liverpool - chosen by Cherie Blair, barrister and wife of former prime minister Tony Blair.


All Saints Church, Cockthorpe, Norwich - chosen by author Alain de Botton.


St Mary the Virgin Church, Church Green, Witney; All Saints Church, Church Lane, Spelsbury - chosen by Prime Minister David Cameron.

All Saints Church, Church Road, Cuddesdon - chosen by Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster.

Bishop Edward King Chapel, Ripon College, Cuddesdon - chosen by Rt Hon Lord Patten of Barnes, chairman of the BBC Trust.


Heath Chapel, Heath, near Bouldon - chosen by classicist Professor Mary Beard, and also by historian and TV presenter Dr Kate Williams.


St Andrew's Church, 6 New Street, Mells - chosen by author and journalist Harry Mount.


Holy Trinity Church, Blythburgh - chosen by broadcaster Emma Freud.

St Mary the Virgin Church, Church Street, Wetherden - chosen by historian Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch.

St Peter's Church, Darsham Road, Westleton - chosen by journalist and author Libby Purves.

St Peter's Church, Theberton with Eastbridge - chosen by actress Diana Quick


St Andrew's Church, Talbot Road, Roker - chosen by opera singer Sir Thomas Allen.


Otley Methodist Church, Walkergate, Otley, West Yorkshire - chosen by Rev Dr Martyn Atkins, General Secretary of the Methodist Church.

Great Houghton Methodist Church, High Street, Great Houghton, Barnsley, South Yorkshire - chosen by actor Brian Blessed.

St Nicholas' Church, Town Gate, High Bradfield, Bradfield, South Yorkshire - chosen by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

St Mary Magdalene Church, High Street, Campsall, Doncaster, South Yorkshire - chosen by Labour leader Ed Miliband.

All Saints Church, Totley Hall Lane, Totley, South Yorkshire - chosen by writer and radio presenter Rony Robinson.

Dewsbury Minster, Rishworth Road, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire - chosen by Baroness Warsi, Senior Minister for Faith and Communities.

New North Road Baptist Church, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire - chosen by Rev Ernie Whalley, President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain


Holy Trinity Church, Old Town, Stratford-upon-Avon - chosen by actor Sir Patrick Stewart.


St Michael's Church, Up Marden - chosen by actor and comedian Hugh Dennis.

St Peter's Church, Church Lane, Lodsworth - chosen by actress Geraldine James.


St Patrick's RC Church, 199 Donegall Street, Belfast - chosen by journalist and broadcaster Eamonn Holmes

St Mark's Church, 56 Brownstown Road, Portadown, Co Armagh - chosen by TV and radio presenter Gloria Hunniford.


Renfrew North Parish Church, 14b Renfield Street, Renfrew - chosen by Rt Rev Lorna Hood, Moderator of the Church of Scotland

St John the Evangelist RC Church, 92 Glaisnock Road, Cumnock, Ayrshire - chosen by composer and conductor James MacMillan.

Deer Abbey, A950 road, Old Deer, Aberdeenshire - chosen by Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland.

New Laigh Kirk Church, John Dickie Street, Kilmarnock - chosen by journalist and TV presenter Kirsty Wark.

The Italian Chapel, Lambholm, Orkney, Highlands and Islands - chosen by Falklands War veteran Simon Weston.


Capel Als Chapel, Marble Hall Road, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire - chosen by journalist and TV presenter Huw Edwards.

Church of St Ishow, Partrishow, The Vale of Grwyney, Powys - chosen by Ian Hislop, editor of the magazine Private Eye.

Soar Y Mynydd Welsh Calvinist Methodist Chapel, Llanddewi Brefi, Tregaron, Dyfed - chosen by Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales.

The Cathedral and Parish Church of SS Peter & Paul, Dyfrig, Teilo and Euddogwy, The Cathedral Green, Llandaff, Cardiff - chosen by Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales and Bishop of Llandaff.