What next for the Church of England?

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[The Archbishop of Canterbury] spoke candidly this week about disestablishment of the Church, for the first time in years, and in so doing reignited the debate about what place it should have in a society in which followers of other faiths and none are more numerous and prominent than ever before. The Church of England, as the established church of the country, is recognised as the official religion by law and the Government, and its Supreme Governor is the monarch.

Dr Williams said he believes that in certain circumstances it could actually benefit from being freed from this arrangement. That would mean disestablishment and the loss of the special place in society it has held since the Reformation. Surely the risk is that its voice would then be reduced to just one among the many who lobby ministers?

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