Skip to 0 minutes and 18 seconds There are a number of states in the European Union that have an established church. And one of them is England, or Britain. By an established church, I mean a church that is singled out as being the religion of the state, or that has a special connection with the state. So for example, in Britain, the head of state, namely, the monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is also head of the Anglican church. And bishops from the Church of England sit in the House of Lords, which is our second chamber in Parliament.
Skip to 0 minutes and 57 seconds Their schools enjoy extensive state funding and public taxes, and they participate in national ceremonies, like for instance, the royal wedding, but also commemorations, for instance, of war– like we’ve just commemorated the First World War.
Skip to 1 minute and 25 seconds Britain’s actually been at the forefront of creating ecumenical relations between the different churches. That’s principally, of course, the Church of England and the Catholic church. Also, some of the Protestant churches like Methodists and Baptists. And of course, Scotland has a Presbyterian church. And that has been used to develop a relationship with non-Christian communities as well, because now we have quite significant populations of Muslims, of Hindus, and of Sikhs. And what’s really interesting is that the Church of England itself has played a major role in bringing these minority non-Christian faiths into a public arena and into a relationship with itself, and therefore, with public institutions.
Religious governance in the United Kingdom
In this video Tariq Modood discusses state-religious institutions relations in Britain.