I agree that very often this does seem to be the case as if some Christians were embarrassed that Jesus had a mother at all and that she appears in Holy Scripture.

So you are right in the case of many people who would call themselves Evangelicals today.

And yet this is not the whole truth.

Low church people (as you call them) are anxious to hold to the basic fact that Mary was a real and ordinary (although highly courageous) mother. They are anxious to hold to the idea that sex is a very good invention of God and that there is no reason whatsoever why Mary and Joseph should not have made love and had children as half-brothers to Jesus.

Further these people are also very concerned to retain the idea that God became truly man and that therefore it is very important that Mary was a totally natural person as sinful and a human as the rest of us but, at the same time, being one of the most deeply dedicated people who have ever lived on earth.

They believe that to say that Mary is “ever virgin” is to deny that sex is good and is not required by the Scriptures themselves.

They believe that it is dangerous to think that Mary was totally sinless because it undermines the full doctrine of the Incarnation and the union between “true God and true man” of which we speak in the Creed.

They also believe that there is no evidence in the Scriptures to suggest that Mary went up into heaven in an unusual way.

However this ought not to mean that “low church people” do not honour Mary. She is worthy of all possible honour just because she was one of the most remarkable human beings who have ever lived.

So the truly Biblical Christian (who would rather not be called “low church”) places Mary very highly indeed in his thoughts and remembers her words at Cana: Whatever he says to you, do it” – for Mary leads us to Jesus.

John Pearce has recently retired as Rector of Limehouse