UK
16/07/2013 07:34 BST | Updated 15/09/2013 06:12 BST

Atheists, Muslims And Celebrities Name Favourite British Churches

Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have said hey don't believe in God
PA
Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have said hey don't believe in God

Britain's most senior Muslim politician and two atheist party political leaders are among figures from the world of politics, arts and entertainment to nominate their favourite UK churches.

Labour Leader Ed Miliband and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, both of whom have declared they do not believe in God, have placed their favourite churches on a list issued to mark the 60th anniversary of the National Churches Trust.

Mr Miliband, MP for Doncaster North, said he was naming the Norman St Mary Magdalene Church in Campsall, Doncaster as his favourite church.

"St Mary Magdalene is said to be the church where Robin Hood and Maid Marian were married," he told the trust.

"As strong believers in redistribution the people of Doncaster North are happy to reclaim his roots."

Mr Clegg nominated the 15th century grade one St Nicholas' Church in High Bradfield, in his Sheffield Hallam constituency, while Baroness Warsi, minister for faith and communities, and a Muslim, named Dewsbury Minster, within her home town of Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, as her favourite church.

"This beautiful church is well loved by Dewsbury people of all faiths, including my own Muslim community, and I pray that it continues to prosper for another 1,400 years and more," Lady Warsi said.

Prime Minister David Cameron nominated All Saints Church in Spelsbury, Oxfordshire, recalling the "very special memory" of his late son Ivan's christening at the church. He also names St Mary the Virgin in Witney, Oxfordshire, as a church for which he has "great affection".

Mayor of London Boris Johnson nominates St Magnus the Martyr Church, in the City of London, and Ukip leader Nigel Farage describes St Thomas A Becket Church in Romney Marsh, Kent, as "quite enchanting".

Other celebrities listing their favourite churches include actor Brian Blessed who nominates Great Houghton Methodist Church in South Yorkshire and Joanna Lumley, who praises St Bride's Church in Fleet Street, central London, as a "little gem".

Comedian Hugh Dennis describes the "beautiful" St Michael's Church, in Up Marden, West Sussex, as a "fantastic place of calm, and for contemplation".

Monty Python star Michael Palin praises St Margaret of Antioch Church, Abbotsley, Cambridgeshire, where he was married, while actor Sir Patrick Stewart nominates Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon where Shakespeare is buried.

Explorer Bear Grylls nominates Holy Trinity Church, Brompton, west London, where the Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev Justin Welby was once a worshipper and lay leader.

Claire Walker, chief executive of the National Churches Trust, which promotes church conservation, said it hoped the list would help highlight the awareness of churches as some of the UK's "most important and well-loved" buildings.

"The UK's 47,000 churches, chapels and meeting houses are a tremendous asset to the nation," she said.

"Together, they form an unparalleled network of public buildings which sustain local communities."