In writing this article, I wanted to try to sum up my – certainly personal – perspective on the recent history of RE in England. It is not always easy for teachers working in classrooms to observe and integrate the perspectives from our social and political context, from general educational policy and from the specifics of RE itself. The six sections that follow are necessarily brief and perhaps eccentric: I hope that any reader will recognise the pictures painted, but I doubt that anyone will agree with even half of my perspective. The article as a whole attempts to answer the question: why is RE where it is at presently? How did we get ‘here and now’?