The Church of England shall remain the established church

From Gordon Brown’s speech before Parliament today, his first as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom:

The Church of England is, and should remain, the established church in England. Establishment does not, however, justify the Prime Minister influencing senior church appointments, including bishops.

The speech, entitled “Constitutional Reform” layed these recommendations (quoting):

The Prime Minister and executive should surrender or limit their powers – the exclusive exercise of which by the Government should have no place in a modern democracy.

These are:

-the power of the executive to declare war;

-the power to request the dissolution of Parliament;

-the power over recall of Parliament;

-the power of the executive to ratify international treaties without decision by Parliament;

-the power to make key public appointments without effective scrutiny;

-the power to restrict Parliamentary oversight of the intelligence services;

-power to choose bishops;

-power in the appointment of judges;

-power to direct prosecutors in individual criminal cases;

-power over the civil service itself;

-and the executive powers to determine the rules governing entitlement to passports and the granting of pardons.

Read it all here.

What the Green Paper from the Ministry of Justice says about the Church is here from Thinking Anglicans.

The Bishop of York welcomes the change to method of appointment.

“I welcome the prospect of the Church being the ‘decisive voice in the appointment of bishops’ which the General Synod called for 33 years ago (in 1974).

“I am grateful for the Prime Minister’s thoughtfulness and for his overt support for the role of the Queen and the establishment by law of the Church of England which have been strongly reiterated in the Green Paper.

“The challenge we face as the Church of England is to use the sacred trust, enshrined in law, for the common good of all the people of England….”

Read the York web site here

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