The Church of England still seemed an essential part of Englishness, and even of the British state, when Mrs Thatcher was elected in 1979.
The decades which followed saw a seismic shift in the foundations of the C of E, leading to the loss of more than half its members and much of its influence.
In England today `religion' has become a toxic brand, and Anglicanism something done by other people.
How did this happen? Is there any way back?This `relentlessly honest' and surprisingly entertaining book tells the dramatic and contentious story of the disappearance of the Church of England from the centre of public life.
The authors - religious correspondent Andrew Brown and academic Linda Woodhead - watched this closely, one from the inside and one from the outside.
That Was the Church, That Was shows what happened and explains why.