There is a press release on the Primates’ Meeting in Tanzania on the Anglican Communion website.

It contains this: “This is the first time an Archbishop of York will officially attend a Primates Meeting. Canon Kearon said, “It is the hope that the presence of Dr Sentamu will allow more discussion of church life in Britain, as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s focus is heavily global during these gatherings.”

Forgive me for being picky, but you might have thought that the presence of Canon Kearon at the Scottish Episcopal Church’s General Synod 2 years ago might have given him the understanding that there are four Anglican Churches in Britain and that all of them have the opportunity to send Primates to the Primates meeting.

He meant England, of course.

I hope.


  1. A bit picky, yes. Idris will no doubt correct them when he’s there.

  2. Umm. So Northern Ireland is part of Britain is it?
    Four churches in the UK maybe.

  3. kelvin says

    Well Simon, you are correct in your assumption that I was thinking of the Church of Ireland in Northern Ireland, rather than perhaps the Church of Rockall.

    People who are being picky deserve to be picked up for slack talk. However, speaking as I do from the Second City of Empire, I hide behind this quote on the website for Number 10 Downing Street:


    “The United Kingdom is made up of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Its full name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    Great Britain, however, comprises only England, Scotland and Wales. Great Britain is the largest island of the British Isles. Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic form the second largest island.

    The UK is just under 1,000 km long from the south coast of England to the extreme north of Scotland, and is 500 km across at its widest point. It shares a single land border with the Irish Republic. Despite its relatively small size the UK boasts incredibly varied and often very beautiful scenery.

    The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are not part of the United Kingdom. They are largely self-governing with their own legislative assemblies and systems of law. But the British Government is responsible for their defence and international relations.

    On this site the term ‘Britain’ is used informally to mean the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”

    I’d also refer interested parties to the Wikipedia page on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Isles_naming_dispute

    I offer this topic as a free gift to Bishop David.

  4. Bishop David says

    As you would expect, I am all knotted up on this one. I am a citizen of Ireland – or the Irish Republic – or the Republic of Ireland. Nor Eire – or, as many of my parishioners in Portadown would have called it [never having moved on from 1922], the ‘Free State’. Meanwhile President Mary MacAleese is often termed President of Ireland which seems to me to be as notable a piece of ‘overlooking’ as when Ian Paisley refers to the ‘people of Ulster’ [which means some of the Protestant/Unionist population of Northern Ireland] and Gerry Adams refers to the ‘Irish People’ [which means not the Protestant/Unionist population of Northern Ireland]. I like Wiki’s rather coy description of Ireland as ‘currently split’ – meaning just the most recent 85 years. Which in the context of thousands of years of British misrule in Ireland is but a blink. And finally one comes to the interesting use of the term ‘mainland’ …

  5. Must admit when I saw you were writing about primates in Tanzania I thought your blog was going to be about ape conservation………………….

    In my experience people from outwith the UK confuse Britain and England a lot. And they have a point. Do you always refer to the Netherlands or sometimes to Holland even when you are refering to the non Holland bits of the Netherlands? And how do you think that makes the Friesian’s feel? And so on.

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