The Queen: Protector and member of the Church of Scotland–the fusion of church and state



The Earl of Wessex, a son of the monarch, is to be the Lord High Commissioner at May’s Annual Assembly of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh.

According to the Wikipedia entry to which Church of Scotland papers refer ‘The Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is the British Sovereign’s personal representative to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland (the Kirk), reflecting the Church’s role as the national church of Scotland, and the Sovereign’s role as protector and member of that Church.

These are the arrangements that the Kirk is seeking to preserve in the event of a ‘yes’ vote in the independence referendum of 18 September 2014.

The Scottish Government has also said in its independence plans that it will not change the legal status of any religion.

Previous Lord High Commissioners have included Lord Steel (Lib Dem) and the Rt Hon George Reid (SNP) , respectively the first and second Presiding Officers of the Scottish Parliament since its re-establishment in 1999. Alex Fergusson MSP, (Tory, educated at Eton), the initial proposer of prayers in the Parliament in 1999, Presiding Officer 2007-11, and Patricia Marwick, the SNP current Presiding Officer, and a declared Christian, are clearly in line for the post in the future.

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