'There could be quite a change in the next 30 years'

The great divide: what religious leaders and experts think

Richard Harries

Bishop of Oxford

I feel strongly that at the next coronation the leaders of other faiths need to be significantly and symbolically present, and I am sure they will be. They need to be much more than guests; they need to be present in the sanctuary, at the centre of things. We are an evolving society. I do not think it is essential to the service that there should be a celebration of holy communion - on these occasions it is sometimes best not to have it in order that other people might not feel ill at ease. What's clear is that the nature of establishment has changed, is changing and will change. Having an established church is a symbolic statement that there is something more important in life than politics, that there's a standard to which all governments are ultimately accountable. But the church is not going to be desperately fighting our own corner because we offer the establishment link as a service to the nation if the nation wants it.

Kenneth Stevenson

Bishop of Portsmouth and one of the church's foremost liturgical historians

The coronation service was not invented by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; it's not set in stone. At the moment it has been for centuries set in the context of a communion service ... that may be regarded as unrealistic and go. A future coronation oath could also be changed. If it is thought that religious pluralism must be a dimension within a Christian monarch's remit that would be where a lot of us are. We are recognising the sincerity of other faiths without denigrating the sincerity of our own.

Robert Hardy

Bishop of Lincoln

There is a slow breaking up of the link between church and state and there could be quite a change over the next 30 years. Society is more secular in all sorts of ways. The coronation needs to bend without being broken. Charles wants to be representative of all his people and it is probably likely that the next ceremony will be less explicitly Protestant. There needs to be a spiritual element in the Lords but I'm not saying they all ought to be Anglican, most of us would reckon there would be a modest adjustment to the number of seats to make room for other faiths.

Colin Buchanan

Bishop of Woolwich

I believe in the disestablishment of the Church of England - that would release any future monarch from the obligation to be its Supreme Governor and remove the legal requirement that he or she should believe. Only a small proportion of the population adheres to it, so it is odd for the Church of England to be the state religion. This needs to be sorted out before the next coronation, but even if the church is not disestablished the ceremony should be reformed. The incoming monarch should have some say in the religious handling of the coronation. The heart of the ceremony is secular, although it has been very well dressed in Christian dress.

Vernon Bogdanor

Historian

The coronation is an Anglican service because the Church of England is the established church. Britain is a multicultural, multi-denominational nation and you may argue that if you keep the establishment, there should be representatives of other cultures and denominations included in the ceremony. While still defending establishment, Prince Charles has made a point of describing himself as a "defender of faith" and he definitely wants the coronation to be an inter-faith celebration. Just like the D- Day commemoration, it would be an Anglican service but with other faiths included, too. It would require a change to the law in order to change the nature of the coronation. But the Government should not do anything until there is a wide consensus among the bishops about what they really want.

Lord St John of Fawsley

Constitutional expert

We are a Christian country and, although you hear a lot of talk about it being a multi-faith society, our religious experience has come to us through the Christian tradition. The establishment of the Church of England recognises that fact and helps sustain Christian attitudes both in public and private life. It would be a great error to disestablish it. I would have no objection to other religious leaders taking part in the coronation but the monarch must not be saying that all religions are equally important or true.

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

    salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

    Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

    Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

    Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower