The second most senior clergy man in the Church of England has warned that his church has become distracted by homosexuality.

Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York said the “endless debate” on gay issues such as the ordination of openly gay priests was causing the Church of England to fail to spread God’s word.

In an interview published in today’s Daily Mail, Dr Sentamu said: “The Church has not been very good at clearly spelling out what the message of Jesus is about.”

“We have been indulging in a lot of debates which I don’t think really have much to do sometimes with the Christian faith,” he added.

Dr Sentamu who yesterday performed an open air baptism at York Minster claimed that the Anglican communion was “not actually doing the ministry of Jesus Christ out in the world.” Adding: “All of us as members of the body of Christ need to do more.”

“The culture we have got in this country has been shaped by the Christian faith. If you really want to continue to have the same sort of culture and the same sort of reality, you really need to turn back to what it is that shaped you.”

The comments followed a warning by the Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham, Vincent Nichols, that the country was becoming “aggressively anti-religious.”