Wed | Sep 28, 2022

No need for Anglicans to be offended

Published:Monday | September 19, 2022 | 12:07 AM


Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding in ‘Monarchical anachronism’ ( Jamaica Observer, September 15), having demonstrated a sense of research on British history, also perpetuated myths on the selection of bishops in the Church of England, the rule of succession and gender and Defender of the Faith, rather than their current evolved understanding. While he confessed that he was not an Anglican, he could have researched or sought consultation.

Anglicanism is the religious tradition that grew out of the Church of England. All members of the Church of England are Anglicans, but not all Anglicans are members of the Church of England. Anglicans in Jamaica are members of the Church in the Province of the West Indies , with its own hymnal and Book of Common Prayer. In the United Kingdom (UK), the Church of England, or Anglican Church, is the primary state church in England, where the concepts of church and state are linked.

The selection of a bishop in the Church of England is done by the church. They are the one who recommends two names to the prime minister, who in turn selects one, which is then passed on to the monarch.

Mr Golding states that “the rule of succession in Britain is blatantly discriminatory”. However, the laws were changed in a 2013 legislation which removed precedence being given to the male line, meaning that any royal born from October 28, 2011, would not be discriminated against in the succession to the throne based on gender. So the British have implemented gender equality. Outside of the monarchy, the British have had more women as prime ministers and female bishops in the last 60 years of Jamaica’s Independence and within the 70-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

Regarding to the title ‘Defender of the Faith’,the UK is a multicultural and multi-faith society which is very much is a reflection of the Commonwealth of Nations. The late Queen Elizabeth II (peace be upon her) had demonstrated the respect of her subjects’ varied faiths. The Guardian newspaper recently addressed the evolved understanding of the terminology, whereby King Charles stated that the Queen had said her role was “not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions. Instead, the Church [of England] has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country”. The King is therefore of the view that “while at the same time being Defender of the Faith, you can also be protector of faiths” (September 9).

Finally, Anglicans need not fear nor be offended, as the Church of England has no jurisdiction over the Church outside of the United Kingdom.


Mandeville, Manchester