Tags: Church & State

Ballot box

Election 2019: pledges that should be in the parties’ manifestos

Posted: Tue, 05 Nov 2019 by Stephen Evans

As the UK's political parties consider their manifestos for the upcoming election, Stephen Evans outlines a series of secularist pledges they should include to advance freedom, fairness and equal citizenship. Read More »

Tags: Assisted Dying, Caste, Charity, Church & State, Circumcision, Collective worship, Election, Faith Schools, Freedom of Expression, Public services, Religious slaughter, admissions

Church & state

Time to stop pretending we have a ‘national church’

Posted: Fri, 18 Oct 2019 by Stephen Evans

As affiliation to Anglicanism continues its rapid decline the Church of England's privileges are increasingly unsustainable, says Stephen Evans. Let's disestablish the church and embrace a secular state. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England, Statistics

Sarah Mullally

Don’t take lessons on democracy from Church of England bishops

Posted: Fri, 04 Oct 2019 by Chris Sloggett

The bishop of London has lamented the state of British democracy while delivering a sermon at the annual judges' service. Perhaps someone should point out the undemocratic nature of her own position, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England, Democracy, Law

Prince William

Equality for LGBT people requires a secular head of state

Posted: Thu, 27 Jun 2019 by Chris Sloggett

Prince William's comments on supporting his children if they are gay should be treated with much less significance than the fact he is due to lead an established church which obstructs LGBT equality, says Chris Sloggett. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, LGBT rights, Monarchy

Religion and public benefit – why it’s time to rethink charity law

Religion and public benefit – why it’s time to rethink charity law

Posted: Fri, 22 Mar 2019 by Stephen Evans

An NSS report says 'the advancement of religion' should be removed as a charitable purpose. Stephen Evans says the law should align with public opinion and only support charities that deliver a genuine public benefit. Read More »

Tags: Charity, Church & State

Prayers

Institutionalised prayer doesn't belong in parliament

Posted: Wed, 16 Jan 2019 by Stephen Evans

As MPs launch a motion against parliamentary prayers, NSS CEO Stephen Evans says ending the anachronistic custom would strike a blow for modernity, equality and freedom of conscience. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Prayers

Religious power and privilege failed the victims in the Peter Ball affair

Religious power and privilege failed the victims in the Peter Ball affair

Posted: Sat, 11 Aug 2018 by Keith Porteous Wood

In this long read NSS president Keith Porteous Wood explains how all arms of the law co-operated to protect the now former bishop Peter Ball for decades and refutes claims that "it couldn't happen now".

Peter Ball started misusing his religious power to sexually... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Church & State, Church of England

Seven secularist steps that would strengthen democracy in the UK

Seven secularist steps that would strengthen democracy in the UK

Posted: Wed, 04 Jul 2018 by Megan Manson

In recognition of National Democracy Week 2018, Megan Manson reflects on what still needs to be changed to make the UK a truly democratic, secular state. Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England, Council prayers, Faith Schools, Freedom of Expression, Head of state, One law for all, Secularism

The seal of the confessional and child abuse: a religious privilege too far

The seal of the confessional and child abuse: a religious privilege too far

Posted: Mon, 25 Jun 2018 by Richard Scorer

Some clerics want exemptions from reporting requirements on abuse when it's revealed in the confessional. Accommodating their demands would undermine efforts to tackle child abuse, says Richard Scorer.

The controversy over the seal of confessional in clerical... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse, Church & State, Church of England

The British people deserve better than the fawning over Michael Curry

The British people deserve better than the fawning over Michael Curry

Posted: Thu, 21 Jun 2018 by Chris Sloggett

As a poll shows public ambivalence to a much-hyped sermon at the royal wedding, Chris Sloggett says the fuss around Michael Curry has distracted from an opportunity to ask critical questions about religion's public role.

In March the Independent Inquiry into... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England

Bishop Rachel’s prejudiced thinking highlights the problem of state-sponsored religion

Bishop Rachel’s prejudiced thinking highlights the problem of state-sponsored religion

Posted: Wed, 13 Jun 2018 by Stephen Evans

The bishop of Gloucester is entitled to question whether atheists can truly have deep love or hope, writes Stephen Evans. But the state shouldn't indulge the view that the religious are morally superior to others.

The bishop of Gloucester drew criticism this... Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Church & State, Church of England, Disestablishment

Will Anglicanism reign supreme at the next coronation?

Will Anglicanism reign supreme at the next coronation?

Posted: Fri, 12 Jan 2018 by Stephen Evans

As the BBC focuses on the Queen's coronation, Stephen Evans says the next initiation of the UK's head of state will be a major test of the monarchy's ability to evolve and reflect the nation it serves.

On Sunday the BBC will broadcast an hour-long film on the... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England, Monarchy

It's time to disestablish the Church of England

It's time to disestablish the Church of England

Posted: Tue, 02 Jan 2018 by Prof. Steven Kettell

As the National Secular Society prepares to send a major report on the subject to MPs, Prof. Steven Kettell says the establishment of the Church of England is incongruous with the beliefs and attitudes of the people it affects.

In the past few decades the landscape... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Disestablishment, Secularism

Church of England’s links with insurer undermines justice for survivors of clergy abuse

Church of England’s links with insurer undermines justice for survivors of clergy abuse

Posted: Wed, 26 Jul 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

Anglican abuse victims believe the Church's close links with its insurer results in lower settlements to victims. NSS executive director Keith Porteous Wood thinks they've got a point, and offers solutions to put things right.

An insurance company connected... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Church & State, Church of England

Intolerant religion mustn’t dictate England’s education policy

Intolerant religion mustn’t dictate England’s education policy

Posted: Wed, 26 Jul 2017 by Stephen Evans

The government is under fire over proposals to lift the cap on faith-based admissions in faith schools. Stephen Evans says the plans should be abandoned - and religious groups' role in education rolled back.

Following criticism of the government's divisive... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Education, Faith Schools, Fifty percent cap, admissions

The Church can’t be allowed to carry on marking its own homework

The Church can’t be allowed to carry on marking its own homework

Posted: Sun, 25 Jun 2017 by Richard Scorer

The Church concealed evidence of criminality and colluded to protect an abusive bishop. Only external oversight will guarantee that church safeguarding practices comply with secular standards, argues Richard Scorer.

With the publication of the Gibb report the... Read More »

Tags: Child Abuse, Church & State, George Carey

Anglican stance on women and gays could trigger disestablishment

Anglican stance on women and gays could trigger disestablishment

Posted: Sun, 14 May 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

Keith Porteous Wood argues that, with the CofE's hierarchy so at odds with the values on equality held by the country at large, an Anglican vicar is right to question its status as the 'national church'.

Andrew Foreshew-Cain, the first Anglican vicar to have... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England

This is not a ‘Christian country’

This is not a ‘Christian country’

Posted: Tue, 18 Apr 2017 by Harry Small

Despite many remaining anachronisms in our constitution, the UK is not a Christian country in any meaningful legal sense: but politicians continue to repeat this myth.

Theresa May's father was an Anglican priest, as she likes to remind us frequently. And on... Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Church & State

Britain’s ‘Christian right’: seeking solace in a narrative of discrimination

Britain’s ‘Christian right’: seeking solace in a narrative of discrimination

Posted: Thu, 02 Mar 2017 by Prof. Steven Kettell

The 'Christian right' in the UK may not be anywhere near as powerful as its US counterpart, but it still tries to exert influence on public policy. This has become increasingly difficult as fewer Britons identify themselves as Christian. Steven Kettell finds... Read More »

Tags: Christianity, Church & State, Politics

It’s time for an end to special religious privileges: we need a secular state

It’s time for an end to special religious privileges: we need a secular state

Posted: Wed, 08 Feb 2017 by Prof. Steven Kettell

Should the Anglican peers in the Lords be joined by religious leaders from other faiths? Ought the BBC be required to make religious programmes? Should religious groups enjoy more legal protection? The Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Secularism

Norway’s separation of Church and State: a work in progress

Norway’s separation of Church and State: a work in progress

Posted: Wed, 04 Jan 2017 by Keith Porteous Wood

Norway's supposed separation of Church and State, effective from 1 January 2017, is a very positive step, but it's still a work in progress, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

Both Norway and the United Kingdom have populations that are very secular in outlook, with... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Norway, Secularism

Church of England or Chancellor of the Exchequer: who’s setting the agenda?

Church of England or Chancellor of the Exchequer: who’s setting the agenda?

Posted: Mon, 19 Sep 2016 by Ed Moore

NSS treasurer Ed Moore writes on the blurred lines between church and state when it comes to taxpayer funding for church repairs, and the vast sums of money being sent from the Treasury to the Church of England.

It can be hard, viewed from afar, to try and... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, church repairs

The House of Lords and religion

The House of Lords and religion

Posted: Fri, 12 Aug 2016 by Keith Porteous Wood

The Parliamentary recess provides welcome respite from the frenetic activity of the political battles being fought out in the chamber and corridors, allowing us to stand back and have a wry look at the institution itself, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

With the... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Church of England, History, House of Lords, Parliament

Book review: 'Christian Nation' by Frederic C. Rich

Book review: 'Christian Nation' by Frederic C. Rich

Posted: Thu, 21 Jul 2016 by Alastair Lichten

Alastair Lichten explores the themes of identity, resilience and redemption in Frederic C. Rich's counterfactual dystopian novel and its defence of secular democracy.

Rich's debut novel depicts America's evolution into a theocratic state following the political... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Reviews, USA

Church and State united in denying religious freedom to young people

Church and State united in denying religious freedom to young people

Posted: Tue, 05 Jul 2016 by Keith Porteous Wood

NSS executive director Keith Porteous Wood writes on the union between church and state that is denying freedom of religion to young people – in defiance of the United Nations and human rights.

The UN recently recommended that the UK "repeal legal provisions... Read More »

Tags: Church & State, Collective Worship, Equality & Human Rights, United Nations