Move to end Church link with state

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Indy Politics
A BILL to disestablish the Church of England, ending the Queen's position as its head, was given a first reading without a vote in the House of Commons yesterday, writes Stephen Goodwin.

Introducing the measure, Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat MP for Southwark and Bermondsey, said: 'The Church of England should, like the church universal, be a serving church, not a ruling church.'

Anglicans in England, like their fellow worshippers in Wales and Scotland would no longer have to get their church laws passed through Parliament in the remote event of the Bill becoming law. The ordination of women priests, for example, would be an issue for the Church alone to decide.

The Bill would end the bar on a non-Anglican becoming King or Queen of England and abolish the right of the 26 senior bishops to sit in the House of Lords. Archbishops would no longer be appointed by a prime minister who might be a non-Anglican or even an atheist.