Rotting from the Head:

Radical progressive activism and the Church of England

Jim McConalogue, Rachel Neal and Jack Harris, June 2021

There is a growing concern that the great institutions of British national life are falling prey to ‘institutional capture’. Whether it is Archbishops, Bishops, Chief Constables, Vice-Chancellors, or the leadership of our national arts, museums, heritage, cultural and broadcasting organisations, there is a significant crisis in leadership in British civic life, such that the head has been severed from the body that supports it.

This report on radical progressive activism in the Church of England serves as a broader wake up call to set about restoring leadership into our civic institutions that not only understands their central purpose but regains the trust and support of the British public
they serve.

In this research, Jim McConalogue, Rachel Neal and Jack Harris have set out to investigate the scale of support for ultra-progressive radical activist agendas alleging ‘systemic racism’ in English society, the understanding and use of ‘unconscious biases’ and prescribing a ‘climate emergency’ doctrine within the Church of England.

By surveying the growing adoption of ultra-progressive values by the Church of England, the research examines the reported instances of clergy involvement in campaign messages which supported those beliefs across the 42 dioceses of the Church.

This research finds that over 80 per cent of all Church dioceses appoint clergy who have promoted racial justice activist claims or expressed concerns for institutional or systemic racism. It further finds that over a quarter of all dioceses appoint clergy who appear very
supportive of the use of unconscious bias training within the Church. And over 70 per cent of all dioceses appoint clergy who promote climate activist warnings or calls for recognition of a ‘climate emergency’.

As Tom Harris writes in the Foreword, this ‘complete departure from the Church’s central purpose risks making it unrecognisable to the grass roots members who support it’. It marks a ‘separation of the head from the body that is becoming alarmingly recognisable
in so many of our national institutions’.