So what has happened in this country in the decade since the last census? What has caused this huge flight from religion? 

It's complicated, but we have to take into account that in that intervening period we have had the trauma of 9/11 and the subsequent rise in Islamic militancy. We have seen a lurch towards conservatism within Christianity, with the Catholic Church becoming aggressively political and reactionary. But the Anglican Church, too, has been taken over by evangelicals with an agenda that repels people, even those who have been traditionally attached to the Church of England.

After the debacle over women bishops, we have seen another demonstration of the inhumane approach that the Church of England is taking to same-sex marriage. Some of the rhetoric coming from the bishops and their supporters in parliament is verging on the crackpot.

There is nothing wrong with them being out of step with the opinions of the rest of the nation, but they have to accept the consequences of their stance – and that is a wholesale defection of their supporters.