Friday, February 11, 2005


Ekklesia director Jonathan Bartley is a good man, and I'm glad that he has been prepared to go for the jugular on this one:

' Ekklesia, the UK Christian think tank, has become the first body publicly to call for moves towards the formal disestablishment of the Church of England in the wake of the engagement of Prince Charles and Ms Camilla Parker-Bowles, announced yesterday. It is asking for an ecumenical reconsideration of church-state relations.

' “The circumstances of this engagement clearly illustrate how inappropriate it is that the Church of England should remain established”, says Ekklesia’s director, Jonathan Bartley. “As a state church it has no say over its Supreme Governor and its interests remain subject to those of the Crown.”

' He continued: “In decision-making about the Royal wedding the Church of England has been shown to be little more than a bit-part in constitutional affairs. It is time to end this humiliation and set the Church free.” '

But even more crucially:

' Ekklesia believes that the case for disestablishment will be strengthened by the Church’s current plight, but it stresses that the theological case for ending the state link is paramount, and has nothing immediately to do with the Prince’s wedding.

' “The Church of England is the only state church in the worldwide Anglican Communion”, says Jonathan Bartley. “That the Church should be subject to the Crown compromises its ability to proclaim and live the Gospel free of state interests. It inhibits equal relations with other Christian churches. And it is also inappropriate in a plural society. Faith cannot be imposed. It must remain a free choice.”

' Ekklesia points out that Christ’s message of equality, justice and special concern for the poor stands in contradiction to the principle of Monarchy, which is based on privilege for the few through heredity. '

The full story is here.

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