In 1900, most people presumed that Britain was a Christiannation. It appeared to be leading the world economically, morally and religiously, exporting Christianity through the Empire and church missionaries to those regarded as the ‘heathen peoples’ of Africa and Asia. In 2000, most people presumed that Britain was secular and had lost its Christian faith, practice and culture. Newspapers carried headlines of ‘The Church in crisis’, ‘Elderly lose faith in religion’ and ‘Empty pews’, backed up by opinion polls and social-science investigations.1 But, at each end of the twentieth century, there were some commentators who found evidence for opposing propositions. In 1904, the Daily Telegraph newspaper asked, ‘Do we believe?’ In response, only 54 per cent of readers professed Christian ‘faith’, whilst a census in the same year by the Daily News showed that only 19 per cent of Londoners went to church, striking some commentators as evidence of a religious crisis at the heart of Empire.2 By contrast, at the start of the twenty-first century, the Sunday Telegraph carried an optimistic banner headline, ‘Revealed: Britain still believes in God’, over a story that 62 per cent of people believed in the Almighty. One hundred years apart, the Telegraph newspapers were posing counter-intuitive propositions that seemed, from most evidence, to have got it the wrong way round: they should have been optimistic for Christian religion in 1900 and pessimistic in 2000.