Practicing Christians are now a minority in Britain much like the persecuted Roman Catholic minority after the reformation, two senior clerics said yesterday.

The Anglican Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, and the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Cardinal Nichols, said their respective Churches must put aside their differences and recognise their “common agenda” as society becomes increasingly secularised.

The clerics were speaking after a historic meeting at Hampton Court Palace, home of Henry VIII, where the Chapel Royal celebrated Catholic Vespers for the first time in more than 450 years.

The service was designed to highlight the palace’s musical history as it approaches its 500th anniversary.

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