Secularists have launched a campaign to end the Christian coronation oath, in a bid criticised as “deeply misjudged”.
Lawyers working for the National Secular Society (NSS) are investigating challenging the coronation promise.
However the Church of England said the bid was a “flawed publicity stunt” which aimed to “politicise the coronation”.
At her coronation in 1953 the Queen promised to “maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel”, as well as agreeing to maintain the “Protestant Reformed Religion established by law”.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, a Church of England source warned that if the secularists’ bid is successful it would hasten the removal of Christianity from public life.
Arun Arora, the Director of Communications for the Church of England, said: “As a flawed publicity stunt, this attempt to politicise the coronation is sadly misguided and deeply misjudged by an increasingly desperate campaign group of barely 10,000 members.”
Keith Porteus Wood, the Executive Director of the NSS, commented: “Lawyers instructed by the NSS are investigating a challenge to the oaths connected with the accession and coronation.”
He added: “The investiture ceremony should be an inclusive one in which everybody should feel equally valued, not a religious service of one denomination”.
Earlier this month the NSS was accused of politicising Remembrance Sunday after it called for the Church of England to be banned from its traditional role in the day.
Christian traditions have been part of the annual ceremony of remembrance at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, since it was first introduced in 1921.
However Professor Norman Bonney, who is a director of the National Secular Society, wrote an academic paper arguing that the Church of England can no longer be “fully inclusive” of the whole community.
He says the Cenotaph was designed to be a secular monument, but this is refuted by Peter Eagles who is Archdeacon to the Army.