Lord Berkeley raised the issue of disestablishing the Church of England a couple of months back. This means to stop Anglicanism from being the official religion of the realm. The debate in the House of  Lords began thus:

Lord Berkeley: 

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the case for the disestablishment of the Church of England.


Lord Young of Cookham, Lord in Waiting:

My Lords, none.


Lord Berkeley 

I am grateful to the Minister for that comprehensive reply.


A courteous exchange was then held, with a number of peers from both sides making thoughtful and reasoned contributions. Once upon a time, the Liberal-voting members of Salem would have yearned for the Church of England’s disestablishment. They were required to pay tithes to the parson at Gisburn as well as the cost of repairing the parish church, even though they elected not to attend it. In the twenty-first century, however, our most hostile opposition comes not from privileged Anglicanism but aggressive secularism. Lilly-livered though some bishops are, and weak in theology, they have a greater understanding of spiritual life than most other politicians. Having a state church is anachronistic and hard to defend, but it’s not something I’d currently wish to lose.