Saturday, September 01, 2007


At the end of a rather odd piece in the Guardian, complaining that the Church of England's decline is attributable to having more committed members and being prepared to question the social status quo (I would certainly have highlighted rather different issues!), David Self, editor of the Encyclopedia of Christianity published earlier this year by Lion Hudson, ends with an apposite comment on the decidedly ambiguous implications of our new Prime Minister's decision to partially release the C of E from his control:

Ironically, by giving it authority to appoint its own bishops, Gordon Brown has actually given [the Church of England] new authority to appoint unelected members of the House of Lords. Rather than increasing the power of this particular club, we should consider severing its automatic, official links with the establishment and with government in particular.

Quite. The new Church of Ireland Primate, Alan Harper, is also a real breath of fresh air on related issues of the church in public life.

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