Did the Church of England try to influence the Brexit vote?

Did the Church of England try to influence the Brexit vote?

Newly revealed reports reveal that the Church of England had been accused of trying to influence the EU debate, after it emerged that a cathedral service featured pro-EU prayers in honour of the UK's membership of the European bloc.

As the country begins its new chapter outside of the European bloc, a 2013 report has resurfaced, which sheds light on the anti-Brexit campaign.

As the nation divided into “leavers” and “remainers”, the Church of England was accused of trying to stop Britain leaving the bloc - putting themselves into camp "remainer" by organising a pro-EU service at Salisbury Cathedral in order to mark the 40th anniversary of the UK joining the EEC.

Leading pro-Europeans attended the service, an the programme advertised as part of the event: “Evensong in the cathedral, during which prayers will be said for the European Union and the UK’s place therein.”

Salisbury was the home of the late Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath, who took Britain into the European Club in 1973.

Former diplomat Lord Hannay, who hosted the event, denied there was anything "odd" about the prayers, insisting the evensong was not a special service for the EU commemoration.

He also claimed that the Church of England was "supportive of Britain’s membership", adding: "Whether or not we should be EU members is not for the Church but, once we’re members, they seem to take the view it’s a good thing."

A Church of England spokesman said he could not comment on the details of the service.

He noted it was up to the preacher to decide what he or she said.