Most people want the Queen to stay “Defender of the Faith” and Supreme Governor of the Church of England, a BBC survey shows.
According to the survey 73 per cent of people think that the Queen and future monarchs should keep the titles of Supreme Governor of the Church of England and Defender of the Faith.
The poll of 2,591 adults, conducted by ComRes for BBC local radio, also revealed that 79 per cent think that the Queen still has an important faith role.
In stark contrast only 25 per cent of respondents said that the Queen should have no faith role or title.
Rt Revd Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, warned against excluding religion from the public sphere.
“If you have a political culture which rigidly excludes the voice of faith from rational dialogue in the open, what you do is push that huge energy into places where people speak words of fire together and that is one of the ingredients for growing fanaticism,” he said.
The poll also showed that public opinion in England is divided over Prince Charles’ plan to change the religious role of the monarchy.
While half of the respondents were in favour of Prince Charles becoming Defender of Faith, not the faith, 35 per cent were opposed.
British monarchs promise to maintain the Church in their coronation oaths. They must also be full, confirmed members of the Church of England.
But Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, said: “Britain is a very different country to what it was when the Queen came to the throne in 1952.
“We can no longer sustain the idea that the Church of England is of any real significance to the vast majority of people.”
During her broadcast on Christmas Day last year the Queen spoke about God sending his son Jesus into the world.
She said: “God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.”