Archbishop calls for St George's Day holiday

Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, has called for St George’s Day to be turned into a public holiday.

The Ugandan-born Archbishop said that a holiday celebrating England’s patron saint could help foster national unity and create an “all-embracing England”.

He warned that a lack of a cohesive national unity could lead to a rise in political extremism, as people could develop a “twisted vision” if they were unhappy with their heritage. He also said that people should develop confidence in their sense of Englishness, reports The Daily Mail.

He said, “Where there is no awareness of identity, there is a vacuum to be filled. Dissatisfaction with one’s heritage creates an opening for extremist ideologies.

“Whether it be the terror of Salafi-jihadism or the insidious institutional racism of the British National Party, there are those who stand ready to fill the vacuum with a sanitised identity and twisted vision if the silent majority are reticent in holding back from forging a new identity.”

The Archbishop made it clear he was not attacking multiculturalism, saying, “Englishness is not diminished by newcomers who each bring with them a new strand to England’s fabric; rather, Englishness is emboldened to grow anew.

“The truth is that an all-embracing England, confident and hopeful in its own identity, is something to celebrate.”

Earlier it was revealed that only five of England’s bishops reacted positively to a plan to ring church bells on St George’s Day.