Telegraph Letters: Disestablishing the Church would disunite England

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

2 Comments
Posted December 28, 2008 at 8:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Rotomagensis wrote:

The notion according to which disestablishing the Church of England would disunite England seems to me alarmist. In all the other European countries, the national Church (usually the Roman Catholic Church, but in some cases Lutheran Churches) has been disestablished: France, Italy, Germany, Spain - under the legal term of “separation of Church and State”.

Protagonists of separation of Church and State are usually anticlericals and secularists, but there are benefits for the Church. Even when the Church is poorer and has to find its own funding, it suddenly finds much more freedom from the encroachment of the State.

In France, cathedrals belong to the State, and parish churches to the local municipality – who have the burden of paying for their upkeep. This system (with church communities being the privileged tenant) in England might make it easier to prevent churches from being sold and totally secularised. Perhaps the opposite might also be true.

The Church of England could do with some healthy competition from the Roman Catholic Church and perhaps even the Continuing Anglicans and the Orthodox, rent-free.

Anyway, coming to the point, I don’t think separation of Church and State in the UK would make any difference to “national unity” when you consider that the majority of people are atheists, agnostics, Roman Catholics or followers of other religions. Times have changed since when the axe and chopping block were still in use!

December 29, 7:31 am | [comment link]
2. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

Actually most of the country are probably unaware that the Church of England is established, let alone minded to worry about it being disestablished.  As far as I can see the biggest loss will likely be to the CofE, disestablishment may [as in the case of the Church in Wales] mean being stripped of assets, community role as in church schools, representation in Parliament, access to media and government at the highest level.  Perhaps the biggest loss will be our current position allowing us huge opportunities to evangelise; not that we seem to bother much about that, content as we are to nag and nanny everybody about subjects on which we are notably ignorant, from economics, politics, carbon footprints to the environment.  The poor suffering British public are nagged on one side by a nanny government and on the other side by bossy bishops from the 60’s.

December 29, 8:26 pm | [comment link]
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