The failure of Britain’s Conservative party to secure a parliamentary majority in the general election is a major disappointment. In a contest where every seat counted, one must (I suppose) even lament the failure of Tory Philippa Stroud to win election. Philippa Stroud?
The Guardian (no friend to the Conservative party admittedly) has the details:
The Conservative candidate who founded a church that tried to “cure” gay people by driving out demons failed in her attempt to become an MP. Philippa Stroud, the high-flying Tory hopeful who was tipped to take Sutton and Cheam from the Liberal Democrat Paul Burstow, was narrowly beaten into second place in a 73% turnout. The Observer reported on Sunday that Stroud, executive director of the Conservative thinktank the Centre for Social Justice, had set up an evangelical church in Bedford where homosexuality, according to former members, was ascribed to demonic influence.
“Demonic influence”, who knew?
The most interesting thing, perhaps, about this strange tale is the larger story lurking beneath it: the increasing presence of American-style evangelical churches in Blighty. They are yet another symptom of the waning of the established Church of England, a church traditionally bland, benign, and not too keen on chatter about demons. It will be missed.