Letter: Changing status of the Church

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The Independent Online
Sir: "The bells toll once more for the established C of E"- Donald Macintyre's article (the commentators, 1 August) is intriguing. I have just tabled what the General Synod grandly calls a Private Member's Motion for debate at the Synod (if it gets enough signatures), asking that the Church of England should get its act together on the whole question of disestablishment.

That Donald Macintyre should devote so much space to the matter adds weight to my sense that change in Church-State relationships is not only in the air but is also inevitable. Its effects will not be confined to the C of E but will touch a wide spectrum of religious organisations.

If the Church of England can meet this spirit of constitutional growth with national and comprehensive proposals, I believe that it can make a serious and worthwhile contribution to the shape of our society for years to come and that there is now an extraordinary opportunity for the established Church to fulfil its status, either by abolishing it or by radically changing it.

Either way, it will be loyal to Archbishop Temple's dictum about the Church existing for those who are not its members.


The Parishes of Stainton-in-Cleveland and Hilton-in-Cleveland