Simon Jenkins infuriates and delights in equal measure, but today’s article in the Guardian fell in the latter category.
The Church of England is simply absurd.Â I was unaware of how the number of Bishops has sky-rocketed over the past 100 years, but I was aware of how the jealously guarded seats the Church has in the House of Lords are, by and large, left vacant.
According to Public Whip, the Bishop with the best attendence record is the Bishop of Chester, on 11.8%.Â The average Bishop turns up to vote 2.76% of the time.Â What is the point of them?Â You don’t need a Bishop to read out a few prayers; if Simon Hughes and John Battle can cope, surely anyone can do it?
If the Anglican Church does split, where will that leave Establishment?Â It is very curious to have a part of our constitution determined by a spat between a bunch of Americans and Africans, yet that is what we are left with.Â Which Church should then sit in the House of Lords?Â Almost certainly the socially conservative wing which has simply nothing to say about 21st century Britain.Â Worse, because this side is more politically active, it means that at the same point that the church becomes less representative of the country, it is likely to start using its constitutional position more.
This is a recipe for disaster.Â Now is the time to start seriously calling for disestablishment.