Conservative MPs’ close interest in C of E affairs

Oct 6, 2021 by

Letter to Church Times argues that MP’s desire to increase Parliamentary involvement in C of E decision-making strengthens arguments for disestablishment.

Sir, — Chris Loder MP claims to observe a marked increase in interest among Conservative MPs in the Church of England (Comment, 17 September). He sees “growing appreciation of the Established Church and the part it plays in society”. Parliament is “the most Christian it has been for some time”: the 2019 election changed not only its political complexion, but also its “faith make-up”…

…Mr Loder is announcing that such MPs are poised also to use their privileged constitutional platform in Parliament to try to influence the Church’s internal affairs. Indeed, he reminds us that it is “not well known enough that the General Synod is a delegated body of Parliament”…

We should be crystal-clear that, in warning that he and his colleagues are prepared to deploy Parliament’s authority over the Church to amend or overturn the Church’s own plans or decisions, Mr Loder is doing nothing whatsoever constitutionally improper. This is precisely what establishment entails: it is one of remaining legacies of 16th-century Erastianism…

…So, let no defender of establishment utter one word of complaint against Mr Loder’s announcement, even if they deplore his substantive views. If they don’t want Parliament to be “watching closely” what the Church does, and ready to throw its weight around when the Church adopts positions disapproved of by MPs, they should gather up their courage and start working for disestablishment.


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