The Christian Institute: ‘No Koran at coronation’

A call to open the next coronation ceremony with a reading from the Koran has been criticised by The Christian Institute.

Simon Calvert, Deputy Director (Public Affairs) at the Institute, said that Christians will be “disappointed” by the idea.

The suggestion was put forward in the House of Lords last week by the former Bishop of Oxford.

Other religions

Lord Harries said that Prince Charles’ coronation would present an opportunity for leaders of non-Christian religions to bless the new King.

He argued that: “The relationship of the Church of England to the state has changed, is changing and could change further”.

Lord Harries pointed to the example of a service at Bristol Cathedral where authorities agreed to read the opening passage of the Koran before beginning the Christian liturgy.


He described the event as a “brilliant creative act of accommodation that made the Muslim high sheriff feel, as she said, warmly embraced”.

The Peer continued: “That principle of hospitality can and should be reflected in many public ceremonies”.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Simon Calvert said: “Most people will be amazed at the idea that a Christian leader would consider the use of the Koran at a Christian service in a Christian abbey.


“People are just so disappointed when senior Church of England figures lose confidence in the claims of the Christian faith.”

Douglas Murray, a contributing editor of the Spectator said: “If there were to be a reading from the Koran at the coronation, surely as a matter of reciprocity, all mosques in the UK should have prayers for the King and the Armed Forces every week at Friday prayers.”

The idea was also opposed by Andrea Minichiello Williams, a member of the Church of England’s General Synod and head of Christian Concern.

British values

Mrs Williams said: “At a time when we are looking at what British values mean, we cannot have values in a vacuum. British values stem from our Christian heritage.

“We cannot pretend all religions are the same, or have the same benefits and outcomes for the nation.”

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