Leading article: The bishops don't need more power

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The Independent Culture
Leading article: The bishops don't need more power

TO ARGUE over the power of dismissal of church wardens may seem a peculiarly arcane form of activity for the House of Commons. Most people have no idea what the role and powers of church wardens are, never mind that to change their status requires the approval of something called the Ecclesiastical Committee of the Commons.

In fact church wardens form a key part of the relationship between the church and the laity in the parish, elected or chosen by the parish council. To make them, as the Commons is being asked, subject to hire-and-fire by the bishops is no idle piece of modernisation. It strikes at the heart of where the Church itself feels it should stand in relationship to the communities it is still supposed to serve as the representatives of the official religion.

If the Church wants to abandon that role, so be it. The time for disestablishment has come, the more so if Dr Carey is allowed his vision of a Church run like Boots the Chemist. Parliament, however, should not allow him to do it by stealth.