Prince Charles’ accession ‘could spark debate over disestablishment’ say secularists

Dec 11, 2017 by

by James Macintyre, Christian Today:

Prince Charles’s accession to the throne will provide a ‘particularly opportune moment’ to make the case for disestablishment of the Church of England, according to a report published today by the National Secular Society.

Debate about a separation between church and state – seen by some as potentially beneficial to both sides – is regarded as off-limits while the Queen remains monarch.

But the new report, called Separating Church and State: The Case for Disestablishment, questions the institutional links between Church, Monarchy and Parliament and indicates that secularists are gearing up for a major discussion about the issue when Prince Charles accedes to the throne.

The report points out that only 25 per cent of countries had a state religion in 2011, while, of those, a minority were classed as liberal democracies, and that only Britain and Iran have religious leaders in their legislatures by right.

Twenty-six CofE bishops currently have reserved seats in the House of Lords, with the right to debate and vote on changes to the law.

Meanwhile, the CofE retains a key role in the coronation of a monarch, who is crowned and anointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury in an Anglican ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

The reigning monarch remains head of the Church, holding the titles of supreme governor of the Church of England and Defender of the Faith.

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