Comment on Bishop Harper's remarks about disestablishment

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Simon Barrow, co-director of the UK religious think tank Ekklesia, which has in the past said that disestablishment is desirable for the health of both the church and a plural society, welcomed Bishop Harper’s remarks.

“It would be good if the thoughtful, forward-looking position of the new Irish Primate could re-open a proper debate among the churches in England, not just the Church of England itself,” said Barrow.

He continued: “Binding the church to the state through the crown restricts the freedom of both, and mortgages the Christian message to a reliance on governing authority rather than Jesus, the Prince of Peace, who was actually put to death by a religion-state alliance.”