Important announcement: God and Politics in the UK is joining forces with Archbishop Cranmer

Archbishop Cranmer websiteOne of the questions I am often asked is what my grand plan for the God and Politics blog is. The simple answer is that I don’t have one, other than to continue to get Christians engaging with the culture and society we live in, not being afraid to speak up for our faith and living it out in public. The vision for this blog was given to me by God and no one else. I never had any intention of doing something remotely like this until God birthed it in my heart. English was my least favourite subject at school and I have no great passion for writing. I’m certainly not in this for the money – it costs me several hundred pounds a year to run the site and do the necessary networking. I have no interest in being famous, which was why I kept fairly quiet about who was running this blog for the first year or so.

When you start writing a blog, it is incredibly hard to estimate what level of interest it will generate. I can still remember the first day I got over 100 views in one day and feeling that it had been a major achievement. Things have moved on a bit since then. After nearly three years and 493 posts, God and Politics is averaging over 1,000 views a day plus 954 subscribers, 6,000+ followers on Twitter and is regularly ranked as one of the top 100 blogs in the UK. Whilst it is incredibly encouraging to see how much this site has grown, ultimately I am far more interested in following God’s lead.

It does leave me with a dilemma: where do we go from here? Do I just keep plodding away or do I seek to do more somehow? It is clear that despite what some secularists and atheists would like to believe, religion is refusing to shrivel up and die. In fact it is increasingly featured in the news headlines. The relationship between, Christianity, other religions, society and culture both here and abroad still has great significance. Christians need to have their voices heard if Christianity is not to be misrepresented or misunderstood. This blog plays its own small part here on the internet, but its influence is limited.

At Justin Welby’s media reception in January I met Archbishop Cranmer, the well established and widely read blogger (with a monthly readership in excess of 100,000). Our blogs have a great deal of overlap in the subjects we cover. His may be more right-leaning than mine, which I try to keep fairly balanced politically, but we both share a passion for God’s truth and His church. We began discussing how we could achieve a greater impact through our writing. We agreed that there really ought to be a site that took the best Christian writers engaging with current affairs and united them to provide a louder and more effective voice.

On the day that one union is on the brink of separation, another one is about to begin. After much prayer, discussion, thought and planning I will be joining with Archbishop Cranmer at his brand new website which launches today. This is a merger rather than a take over. I will be writing in exactly the same way that I have here at God and Politics on exactly the same subjects and inviting guest writers to come and share their thoughts as I currently do. Between us we hope to engage a wider audience building on the strength of both of our blogs to hopefully create something better and with more clout than has previously been the case.

For a short while, God and Politics will continue to operate; posts that I put up at Cranmer will be posted here afterwards to give space for the transition process.

Thank you for sharing this blogging adventure with me. This site was the beginning and it certainly won’t be the end. We look to stay faithful to God, moving on to new things with our eyes still firmly fixed on our Saviour who is mighty to save.

Please come and take a look at my new home where I will begin writing very soon:

Categories: Blogging, Faith in society

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30 replies

  1. I think this is a very positive move indeed. I feel very encouraged for you.

  2. Excellent news! It’s good to see success achieved where it wasn’t pursued and a partnership form that can reach ever more people and have a larger impact. And it makes my Feedly lighter 😉

  3. Good move Gillan, onward and upward!

  4. Excuse my ignorance but wasn’t Cranmer a tudor figure? Please explain.

  5. Gillan, I have so greatly enjoyed your blogs, forwarded and shared them with friends, found so MUCH to reflect on, and to discuss. It must always be hard to continue, when your standard is so high, but you catch the moment so consistently, and with such skill.
    The great – indeed overwhelming – reason for following you is the complete lack of bias, of ‘malice’, and the prevailing sense of intelligent reason.
    I want to read about God and Politics.
    I have for a period followed Abp Cranmer, and I eventually gave up because there was a remarkable lack of the qualities you retain. I was distressed by his bias, especially in the matter of Israel/Gaza, but in other areas too. And a determination to be ‘right’.
    I am very sorry indeed that you are joining him, especially since it is a blog under *his* name! and that really will colour everything.
    If it is too late to vote ‘NO’ (!) then please would you continue to blog as God and Politics, even if it is less frequent, or I shall lose sight of you! Your excellence should not be subsumed by His Excellency!

    • Heartily endorse your opening remarks Lavender.

    • Hi Lavender. Thank you for all of the support you have given me. Please be reassured that I will continue to write in exactly the same way as I have up until now. The Archbishop Cranmer ‘brand’ is much bigger than God and Politics, so it made sense to continue using it.

      Hopefully between us there will be a breadth of writing. Some will disagree with one of us and many will disagree with both. This is part of the nature of what we do. It will be clear which posts are by which author, so you can ignore some if it suits you.

      Bringing the two blogs together is a risk for both of us, but we are willing to step out in faith for the sake of serving God faithfully. Neutrality both theologically and politically is virtually impossible. We present what we feel we have to say and let the reader decide. Cranmer discussed that recently here:

      Please be patient and you may be pleasantly surprised.

    • I’m also a bit sad to see your blogs mixed in with ACs. I stopped following AC a while ago, and find it quite hard to have a blog with Conservatism at the top of the page all the time.

  6. LOL!! On booting up earlier this morning I intended adding His Grace’s site to my browser’s home page tabs, thereby avoiding occasionally dipping into it as and when time allowed. But first, you bring me this excellent news !

    Congrats on your laudable achievements my friend and this sensible development. As HG isn’t on WP platform. however, means I won’t be able to re-blog your material as easily as before the ‘migration’.

    May our Lord direct and protect your thoughts and output more mightily to His glory.

  7. Mixed feelings because you are incredibly fair-minded Gillan and that is such a admirable skill and asset.

    You have allowed diverse opinions on your blog and are very far removed from control-freakery. As a result I will miss your blog. I will also miss many of the people who comment here.

    However, I hope you go from strength to strength and wish you all the very best for your future.

    • Yes it is a wrench for all of us. I am giving up a home I know very well and taking a risk. You are still welcome to comment at the new site – you’ll need to sign up with Disqus (very easy). I have full editorial control of what I post and hope to make Cranmer a less hostile place. Please give it a go and if you feel it is a step too far, let me know.

      • Gillan, I fully respect the thought and prayer you have put into it: and I visited the new website to see for myself whether the impression and tone were substantially different. They aren’t..and indeed it is so overwhelmingly ‘Cranmer’ that it is as distasteful as the previous sole offering.
        Is it possible that you can arrange to post automatic links to your own posts, via Facebook, or email your existing subscribers, but please don’t expect some of us to wish to sign up to Cranmer – it is Gillan’s God and Politics that we greatly value, and would not willingly be parted from.

  8. Like Lavender and Nick I confess to being very sad at this news. It feels as though a beloved corner shop is ‘merging’ with Tesco and asking their clients to shop at the ‘merged’ entity, except that the sign over the door will read Tesco and apart from some of the items in the shop, the tone and culture will be Tesco. If as you suggest there is to be a merger, I would encourage you to speak again to ‘his grace’ (what an appalling attitude) and explain that your 1000 are as important as his 100,000 if not as numerous and so a new shop is needed which allows those of us who do not enjoy his style to enter and continue to enjoy the wisdom and openness which you have facilitated, even if there is an adjoining space to which both clientele can find something that works for them.

    • I have spent a long time thinking and praying this through, especially knowing that it would not go down well with everyone. Adrian as editor has been very accommodating and although the blog bears Cranmer’s name, it is the start of something new with my opinions being fully taken on board. There is absolutely no intention of me becoming a little Cranmer. Once I get going, hopefully this will become clearer. It is a step of faith, but I will try my hardest to make my new home as welcoming as this one has been.

      • Gillan, whilst your judgement is not in question, I am afraid Adrian if that is his name has proven on many occasions to be someone whose blog I would not choose to follow. I guess the next step would be for him to do a post on your blog and explain why even though some of his postings and tweets are so different in approach to yours, that he is someone who has constructive things to say to your ‘audience’.

        • I’ll see what I can do Ian. I’m not surprised you wouldn’t chose to follow Cranmer. I’ve been asked to come on board because he feels my writing deserves a bigger audience and that the site needs to represent and appeal to a broader range of views.

          I can’t please everyone and only time will tell if I’ve made the right decision.

  9. So sad, because the greater consumes the ‘lesser’ – yet again – in the interest of ..Whom? I fear the time, costs and enormous dedication that Gillan has shown [to our heartfelt admiration], has proved too much? But it is precisely these individual voices that we so desperately need to hear: the unbiased voice is a pearl beyond price. Otherwise we are swept along by the media, the comments online, the unthinking ‘reaction’…
    Feeling enormously sad at this news; there is always a risk with those who have huge followings, that their expected viewpoint must emerge as something of a pronouncement, and that it is somehow the correct view; this is never really healthy.
    Very best of good wishes, Gillan, perhaps there will be a way to communicate your own thoughts, when they appear, without our registering with that site?

  10. I for one applaud the new combined effort. I hope that all your readers choose to go and read at least your posts at their new address.
    I recognise the issues that people raise about the “attitude” that can be present with Cranmer, mainly for some of those who comment on his site. Cranmer, admittedly, can also be an acquired taste to read, not least for his style of writing as Cranmer, but whether you agree with him or not he is at least putting out commentary on the world we live in, from both a political and religious perspective that gets people thinking and joining in.
    And you never know, some of those who are declaring they will no longer read might, if they join up, see some of the more obnoxious commenters change in how they join in the debate, either through the example of those here who wish to go and share it or through enough comments that might shake them into understanding a better way. All I will say is that those who decide not to read the new blog are as bad as those who decide to “shop” for a church that suits them and their aesthetic tastes, rather than going to a local church and supporting it’s ministry. You are there for the content, not the atmosphere!

  11. Oh blimey. Just when I had given up reading Cranmer because I preferred you.

  12. Knowing both of you, I think this is an awesome, well thought through synergy. Excellent news.

  13. Hi Gillan, just wanted to say I’m really going to miss the blog and the excellent debates it generates. Although we are poles apart with regards to belief, you have always been generous in allowing my comments, something I really respect you for.

    All the best for the future and you never know I may just pop up now and again to stir things up!!!


  14. Dear Gillan: Wow. I like unity, so I support your move. I have never read the Archbishop Cranmer blog, and as someone of the “left” (although Lib Dem) hope that you keep that side up. As a Christian who has lived many years in the USA, I am deeply PISSED-OFF with right wing “christianity” (deliberately lower-case c) there. GBJ.

    Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 07:01:24 +0000 To:

  15. This is a bit of a shocker. I’d be a devotee of both sites. As an Irish Catholic of a left wing persuasion, I often find His Grace’s articles to be very challenging, but he is very liberal/tolerant with regards to his commenting policy. In my experience I’ve never been modded. It might be a marriage made in Heaven. I wish you both the best of luck and you’ll both be in my prayers.

    • Thanks Declan. We felt it best to keep it quiet until the launch of the new site. We are both very tolerant of comments from any point of view as long as they are not deliberately offensive. The idea is that between us and guest writers there will be a good spread of views. It does all feel like a big step of faith, but in time hopefully it will prove to be worth it.

  16. I have to say that I’m one of those with reservations about this. I have no idea what “cranmer” is like in person, but his online presence is severely partisan (to the extent that I find it difficult to read most of his political posts), whilst you have taken a lot of effort to be non-partisan, and fair to all sides. That the merger is happening under Cranmer’s online identity does not fill me with confidence. I hope that my misgivings are ill-placed, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have them.

    • I don’g blame you for having concerns Stephen. Any merger of this nature will result in compromises. I am losing the name if my blog to the more established one. In turn the Cranmer site is changing its direction to become more politically ecumenical. At the moment all of the posts bar one are Cranmer’s but once things get going, this should even out.


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