David Cameron has stressed the importance of teaching his children about the religious aspects of Easter, after he spoke about the “peace” he finds in faith.
The Prime Minister said he wanted Nancy, Arthur Elwen and Florence to understand that the festival was more than just “chocolate eggs”.
The comments, in an interview with BBC Radio Norfolk, came after he was reported to have discussed his own religion at a reception last night.
According to Bloomberg News, he told an audience of Christian leaders and politicians in Downing Street that his “moments of greatest peace” occurred every other Thursday morning attending the Eucharist at St Mary Abbots, the west London church linked to the school his children attend.
“I find a little bit of peace and hopefully a bit of guidance,” he added.
Mr Cameron is said to have referred to Jesus Christ as “our saviour” during the talk.
The Prime Minister’s day began with the resignation of Culture Secretary Maria Miller, finished it with his eyes shut, leaning against a pillar in his London residence as a soprano sang for his Easter reception.
He had no comment on her choice of hymn: “Ave Maria.”
“The Bible tells us to bear one another’s burdens,” Cameron told his audience of Christian leaders and politicians at 10 Downing Street when she’d finished. “After the day I’ve had, I’m definitely looking for volunteers.”
Cameron has held an annual Easter reception in Downing Street since taking office. He has also been comfortable with Biblical allusions. In a 2009 set-piece speech in opposition he borrowed the structure of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
While his predecessor Gordon Brown often referred to lessons he’d learned from his father, a Church of Scotland minister, he steered clear of speaking about personal faith. When he did make a Biblical reference, in a speech to a church in 2010, he cited the wrong book of the Bible.
Mr Cameron also paid tribute to the pastoral work of churches, referring to the 2009 death of his oldest child, Ivan, who would have been 12 two days ago.
He named as “the person who looked after me” Mark Abrey, the vicar of the local church in his electoral district. “I can’t think of anyone who was more loving or thoughtful or kind,” Cameron said.
The prime minister praised the social work of churches, referring to his “Big Society” policy of encouraging volunteering.“Jesus invented the Big Society 2,000 years ago; I just want to see more of it,” he said. “If there are things that are stopping you from doing more, think of me as a giant Dyno-Rod” to clear the drains.
He committed his government to fighting persecution of Christians abroad.
“It is the case that Christians are now the most persecuted religion around the world,” Cameron said. “We should stand up against persecution of Christians and other faith groups wherever and whenever we can.” Tony Blair’s former spin doctor Alastair Campbell famously held that Prime Ministers should not “do God”, but Mr Cameron has been less reluctant to speak about his beliefs.
In his radio interview this morning, the premier said he and his children mulled over “what Easter is all about” as they ate breakfast this morning.
“I was very impressed with their knowledge about Good Friday and Easter Sunday,” he said. “We had a bit of a conversation about that, (that) it wasn’t about chocolate eggs.
“That was one of the themes at breakfast in the Cameron household.”
He also disclosed he would be spending Easter with wife Samantha’s family.
“I am going to be spending a bit of time with my mother-in-law,” he said. “I think I am spending Easter Day with Samantha’s family."
From Catholic Universe