Happy new year. At Christmas religious voices tend to get particular attention in the public sphere, but on Christmas Day a significant poll found broad support for secular principles among the British public. We're on the side of the comfortable majority who say religious beliefs should be separate from political decision making and religious clerics should have no automatic right to seats in our legislature.
And we have much to do in 2018, starting this month when we send copies of our report on disestablishment to every MP. The secular voice will be important during the EU withdrawal process – in the year of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, some MPs are eyeing up the chance to increase religious discrimination.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse and the Commission on Religious Education will produce major reports. Religion looks set to play an unjustifiably central role in events to mark the 100th anniversary of the first world war armistice. And as always we'll be keeping a close eye on developments in the UK's public services, particularly our schools. Thank you for your support as we get ready for the year ahead.