Next week the General Synod, the Church of England’s parliament, gathers in York to discuss the introduction of women bishops without provisions for those who oppose the historic move, which could see dozens of conservative clergy leave the church and claim millions in compensation.
But Alison Ruoff, an evangelical lay member of the Synod and a former magistrate who is at the Gafcon summit in Jerusalem, told The Daily Telegraph that the church needs to get past these divisions and concentrate on fighting the rise of Islam in Britain.
She says that under an Archbishop of Canterbury who said it is inevitable that elements of Sharia will be introduced in the UK, the church has not done enough to put its message across. And she believes the Government, out of politically correct sensitivity, is not preventing the growth of Muslim communities which do not integrate with those around them.
Mrs Ruoff, who earlier this year called for a halt to mosque building in Britain, said: “The church is sleepwalking into an Islamic state. Hopefully we can unite against it. The leaders of the church have lost their confidence in the Gospel. We have got an Archbishop of Canterbury who doesn’t stand up for Christianity but wants a degree of Sharia law. The church should be getting out with the Christian message. Our Government is allowing it to happen out of political correctness, but it should be protecting our values and heritage.”
She added that many people share her fears but do not like to speak out about it in case they are criticised. “People are genuinely worried. There’s a general concern in the nation about its building blocks being rapidly eroded. But we are very afraid of the law and of being persecuted. The police in many respects are standing up for Islam rather than Christianity.”
Mrs Ruoff believes the problem with the growth of Islam in Britain is that some communities do not integrate, and that some immigrant imams do not learn English, leading to segregation. She fears that if these communities introduce Islamic law, all non-Muslims and women will be treated as second-class citizens by them.