Disestablishment

There is some discussion of Church and State in the Values topic, but I think the role of the Church of England should also be covered here.

Modern Britain is religiously diverse, and the proportion of the population with no religious affiliation is at 25% and rising. http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/census/2011-cen...y-religion.html This being the case, why should any one religion have a privileged place within the establishment, or the exclusive right to have representatives in Parliament? Therefore I would like to see the CofE disestablished and the "lords spiritual" banished from the upper house.

edited on Feb 20, 2015 by Morgan Gross

Jake Wellman Apr 16, 2015

Tel, what language what you support including in a Constitution for this idea?

something like "the Church of England shall become a private organisation and lords spiritual will not be appointed to the House of Lords solely on the basis of their office in the Church"?

Thanks,

-JWellman, moderator

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Tel Apr 17, 2015

Hi, I'm thinking about this and will get back to you later tonight!

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Tel Apr 17, 2015

Hi again, sorry for the delay.

I'm not sure we really want to mention the House of Lords, which is likely to find itself abolished under another clause of the constitution! :) And the CoE's change in status would presumably be taken care of by legislation. So my suggested wording is simply: "No church, religion or faith organisation shall be established or endorsed by the state, or represented officially or unofficially in Parliament."

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Rob G Apr 16, 2015

In the Separation of Church and State discussion ("https://constitutionuk.com/post/79739"), the form of words currently being favoured is "People of all faiths and no faith shall have equal rights; and faith organisations shall not have either more or less favoured status within government or society as a whole solely on the basis of their faith-based nature."

Is that sufficiently similar to enable the two discussions to be merged?

I take the point that these are in two different Challenges - but I think the form of words above does address the issues underlying the concern here.

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Tel Apr 17, 2015

The proposed wording on that topic currently is "People of all faiths and no faith shall have equal rights; and faith organisations shall not have either more or less favoured status within government or society as a whole solely on the basis of their faith-based nature. Faith groups should not provide public services without proof that their services are impartial and their funding fair." Which is fine as far as it goes. If the two topics are to be merged (and I agree they cover nearly the same ground), I think something to specifically say "there shall be no established church or state religion" ought to be added.

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Tel Apr 17, 2015

Actually, having now mulled it over, I'm going to continue to treat them as separate topics. If someone wants to combine them at a later stage, that's fine by me.

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Jeremy Wells Apr 18, 2015

Absolutely agree with this view. I respect people who keep a faith in whatever religious movement but there is no place for any religious group to have constitutional influence in a democracy. The disestablishment of the CofE would become a logical consequence of the removal of the monarchy as head of state.

Rob G Apr 18, 2015

So what do you want to happen about the requirement to allow church weddings to all first-time, straight, couples? And the ability to have a CofE wedding without having a registrar present? They're both parts of "establishment" that I think most people in the country welcome.

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Tel Apr 18, 2015

Clearly, disestablishment would have multiple ramifications and consequences, like much of the rest of the new constitution. We can't second guess them all at this stage.

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