PM praises Pope for faith focus
Prime Minister David Cameron is to pay tribute to the Pope for challenging Britain to "sit up and think".
In a speech to mark the final day of the Pontiff's historic state visit, Mr Cameron will say that he had shown that faith was still "a vital part of our national conversation".
The Pope's message has, at times, been an uncomfortable one for politicians, speaking out against what he called "aggressive secularism" and warning against the "marginalisation" of Christianity in modern Britain.
But speaking in Birmingham, the Prime Minister will tell Benedict XVI that he agrees with him about the importance of religious faith in public life.
"Faith is part of the fabric of our country. It always has been and it always will be," Mr Cameron will say, according to advance extracts of his speech released by No 10.
"As you, your Holiness, have said ... faith is not a problem for legislators to solve ... but rather a vital part of our national conversation. And we are proud of that."
Mr Cameron will say that people did not have to share a faith to see the value of the "searching questions" that the Pope had posed about our "society and how we treat ourselves and each other".
"You have really challenged the whole country to sit up and think, and that can only be a good thing," he will say.
"Because I believe we can all share in your message of working for the common good ... and that we all have a social obligation to each other, to our families and our communities."