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Bernard Hurley's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by Bernard Hurley

Comment 3 by Marcus Small

Rowan Williams said last week

We do not as churches seek political power or control, or the dominance of Christian faith in the public sphere; but the opportunity to testify, to argue, sometimes to protest, sometimes to affirm – to play our part in the public debates of our societies. And we shall, of course, be effective not when we have mustered enough political leverage to get our way but when we have persuaded our neighbours that the life of faith is a life well lived and joyfully lived.

Perhaps that sentiment needs testing but that can only be done in dialogue.

If you want to have a dialogue with Rowan Williams, go ahead. Personally I would rather see pressure put on him to test the sincerity of his remarks. If he thinks having twenty six bishops in the House of Lords gives the Anglican church political power, he should ask them to resign. If he does not then, but only gives the church the "opportunity to testify, to argue,... ", then he should have no objection to twenty six places being reserved for, say, stamp collectors.

...no government is going to give legislative time to disentangling the Church of England from the state.

Maybe, but little bits of it can be nibbled away as the opportunity arises. Not much has been said about it recently but the UK coalition government is still committed to reform of the upper house and at some time this will become a live issue. It may be helpful if the question of the 26 bishops could be made a live issue before that time.

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 16:41:21 UTC | #524370