Towards a non-monarchical church
The Channel 4 television 'beliefs' slot, 4thought.tv - which unlike BBC Radio 4 'Thought for the Day' is open to both believers of all stripes and non-believers - has been asking if we should be proud of the Queen's close ties with the Church of England, or if these ties are anti-Catholic and exclude other beliefs in multicultural Britain.
Symon Hill, who is a Quaker and an associate director of Ekklesia, this evening (13 April 2011) offered an alternative Christian perspective - and raised a rather different angle on the issue, in the run-up to another Royal Wedding in which ecclesiastical ritual will again be centrally embedded.
He said that the close association between the Church of England and the monarchy compromises its ability to spread Christianity's original anti-establishment message.
Jesus, Symon Hill pointed out, associated deliberately with the poor, the marginalised and those on the edges of society, both religiously and politically, offering them liberation. He would not, Hill suggested, approve of making the gathering of his followers subject to institutions of power, privilege and prestige.
The Church of England is currently established by law under the Crown - subject to the monarch in all matters, temporal and spiritual.
Inter alia Symon referred to the way Bishop Pete Broadbent (himself no fan of Ekklesia, it should be pointed out) for his anti-monarchy comments - albeit expressed in personal and inappropriate ways, as the bishop subsequently admitted.
* 'Unanswered questions over Pete Broadbent' - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/13626
* 'The subversive feast of Christ the King' - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/13613
You can watch Symon Hill's broadcast online, on Channel 4 OD (On Demand) at: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/4thoughttv/episode-guide/series-1/epi...
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