Tag Archives: Church Of England

Claused Minds

Its back to the drawing board for The Church of England after its latest Bishops’ report on homosexuality failed to win a majority approval from The General Synod.

Seems that the report suggested slight tweaks to the degree of politeness which LGBT Christians should expect but no change in its opposition to marriage equality : essentially that Gay people are not unequal, they just shouldn’t have access to the institutions of equality.

We welcome that The C of E are inching their way towards decency and modernity though as secular campaigners, do we have a right to intrude on private grief?

The problem is that as England’s “national” church, it’s not private. This is a minority Christian group who are exempt from equality legislation yet have access to schools and un-elected voices in government.

They should be disestablished so they can take all the time they need to sort out their anachronistic internal schisms.

Neil Barber– Communications Officer – Edinburgh Secular Society

Published The Scotsman Friday 17 February – 2017 The Scotsman

Letter also published in the Edinburgh News on the same date –  headed ‘Cof E needs to sort out its stance on equality’.


The Queen is acting unconstitutionally in religious matters

The Queen and then Archbishop of Canterbury at the inaugural and interfaith event of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee of 2012 at Lambeth Palace. Picture credit Reuters.

Rev Dr John Cameron (Letters 27 December) commends the Queen for her steadfast Christian messages which she again propagated in this year’s Christmas broadcast.

However like her wayward son she is not averse to flirting with other faiths. Indeed in the first event of her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, significantly an interfaith event organised by the Archbishop of Canterbury, she stated that the Church of England, of which she is Supreme Governor, had a responsibility to protect and support other faiths.

Constitutionally that Church has no such responsibility, Article 18 of the Church of England’s founding statutes, to be found in the Prayer Book, states clearly ‘THEY also are to be had accursed that presume to say, That every man shall be saved by the Law or Sect which he professeth, ……. For holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the Name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved’.

In making that 2012 speech and indulging in inter-faith collaboration her majesty, and her son, go way beyond her constitutional responsibilities as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. It is time for the UK Parliament to amend the laws that govern the Church to make them appropriate for a more secular age and to ensure that the monarch and the heirs to the throne act constitutionally.

Letter in the Scotsman 29 December 2015 by ESS Honorary President, Professor Norman Bonney

Scottish Parliament should determine whether to maintain Protestant and Presbyterian privileges in Scotland

Prince Edward, Lord High Commissioner, representing the monarch at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, together with the Moderator and procession

Legislation for increased powers for the Scottish Parliament should include provision to enable it to revoke the clause in the Act of Union of 1707 that requires a new monarch immediately at accession to ‘maintain and preserve the True Protestant Religion and the Presbyterian form of church government in Scotland’. Such a step would enable Scots to determine if they wish to eliminate this heritage of religious discrimination and remove the special constitutional standing of the Church of Scotland that now has the adherence of less than one in three of the population of Scotland.

This is proposed in an article in Democratic Audit by Professor Norman Bonney, Honorary President of Edinburgh Secular Society.

Prof. Bonney also proposes that the Church of England bishops in the House of Lords should lose the powers that they have to change laws on UK reserved matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In 2010 their votes were decisive in excusing religious organisations from some provisions of the Equality Act that apply to other bodies. ‘English bishops should vote only on English matters – if that is the wish of the English people’ he said.

The article in Democratic Audit can be accessed at http://www.democraticaudit.com/?p=9328