Dr Nazir-Ali was greeted with a standing ovation as he gave a speech to a breakaway summit in Jerusalem of more than 1,000 traditionalists from across the Anglican Communion who oppose gay priests and the blessing of same-sex unions.
He did not say that divisions over sexuality would lead to a schism in Anglicanism, and referred to unity being a “very precious thing”. Instead he called on those in the church to concentrate on mission – trying to convert those of other faiths and with no faith to Christianity.
Dr Nazir-Ali, who earlier this year claimed the decline of Christianity had led to a collapse of Britishness, said: “Let us pray that we are able to recover our Christian nerve in the west and make sure the Gospel is not lost, and that all that is valuable in western culture – much of which comes from its Judeo-Christian background – will survive as a way to enhance cultures in the west and renew them once again.”
He said he could not apologise for wanting to explain Christianity with Muslims and to great laughter he added: “That’s not the only thing I want to do to them.”