Next coronation to involve other faiths, say CoE leaders

Fri, 24 May 2013

The coronation of the next monarch will include other faiths besides Christianity for the first time in a thousand years of history, the Sunday Telegraph has reported.

Church of England leaders have let slip to the Sunday Telegraph that other faiths may be included to reflect the spiritual diversity of the nation.

However, the church has resisted calls for a fully-fledged multi-faith service, maintaining that the Christian nature of the ceremony is preserved by the law.

History

The Sunday Telegraph reports that representatives of other faiths are likely to be asked to participate in neutral ways such as reading from a text expressing shared values, rather than praying out loud or reading from their own religious texts.

A Church of England spokesman said it did not discuss future coronation services, as a matter of policy.

The ceremony has elements dating back to 963, and is always written by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Multiculturalism

The Coronation Oath Act of 1689 requires the monarch to swear to uphold the Protestant faith.

The monarch is then given the title Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

But in 2008 Prince Charles, heir to the throne, controversially declared his intention to embrace ‘multiculturalism’ by dropping “the” from the historic title “Defender of the Faith” when he becomes king.

Queen

Last year a BBC survey showed that most people want the Queen to stay “Defender of the Faith” and Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

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 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.

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