Christians around the world had been dismayed by Lennon's boast in an article in London's Evening Standard about the popularity of the Beatles, but the singer says he was misunderstood. "It's just an expression meaning the Beatles seem to me to have more influence over youth than Christ," he says. "Now I wasn't saying that was a good idea, 'cos I'm one of Christ's biggest fans. And if I can turn the focus on the Beatles on to Christ's message, then that's what we're here to do."
He blames "the hypocrites" for being too "uptight" in reacting to his comments. "If the Beatles get on the side of Christ, which they always were, and let people know that, then maybe the churches won't be full, but there'll be a lot of Christians dancing in the dance halls. Whatever they celebrate, God and Christ, I don't think it matters as long as they're aware of Him and His message."
He acknowledges a strong belief in the power of prayer but says he dislikes all the church trappings. "Community praying is probably very powerful … I'm just against the hypocrisy and the hat-wearing and the socialising and the tea parties."
Wonder what he would have thought of Lambeth Conference?