on Wednesday, 5 April 2023 at 11.00 am by Peter Owen
categorised as Opinion
Helen King ViaMedia.News Pressing ‘PAUSE’
Jonathan Chaplin Law & Religion UK Lost in transmission – on not romanticising the Coronation
Rebecca Chapman The Church of England Newspaper Justin Welby: What Has Changed After 10 Tumultuous Years?
Jonathan Chaplin’s piece is outstanding – brilliantly calls out the nostagic romanticisation of some past pretence that is fraught with postcolonial and autocratic implications. I am hearing some crazy Anglicans describe the coronation as the “eighth sacrament” and I can just hear Elizabeth I telling them where to put that particular notion. Perhaps one of the biggest objections to the C of E leading a sacral coronation is that it leaves no room for a personal faith and commitment to the saving work of Jesus Christ in the person of the monarch – while the political constellation leave no room… Read more »
The English Reformation was originally about who was in charge of the Church and who was entitled to grant the King a divorce. It was about authority not theology. The Coronation is not about personal faith, it is about sanctifying the institution of monarchy. The Glorious Revolution of 1688 determined that Parliament had the final say but that doesn’t mean that the monarchy doesn’t wield considerable influence and enjoy obscene inherited wealth. When Archbishop Welby crowns King Charles he is saying that it is OK that our head of state is a billionaire with multiple palaces while destitute people struggle… Read more »
On the contrary, I find the piece at best patronising and at worst, downright bizarre. Not least because of its central thesis that because most people in the nation (he alleges) won’t understand what is being done, then the CofE shouldn’t be doing it.
Never mind 2 or 3 gathered together – if the majority don’t agree….
To be honest, if that’s how we think things should work, then why are we limiting ourselves to the Coronation? Surely pretty much every religion in the UK needs to send its adherents home and close down now?
Thanks. I think your last sentence is key. Of course we don’t know what happens in those weekly private audiences, but somehow I doubt your question is ever on the agenda.
Or what would happen if the Archbishop was to say that this man is an adulterer and married to a divorcee, and if we are to follow our scriptures we cannot accept this man as the head of our church?
Or is it only us gay people who have to follow the rules?.
Like all of his subjects the King has made mistakes in his personal life; what I find irksome is the pharisaical hypocrisy of the Archbishop. He seems to have engineered the worst of all possible outcomes with regard to the position of the LGBTQI community and yet says we’re loved and wanted as long as we accept compulsory celibacy. His tenure at Canterbury is notable for a succession of blunders and own goals but in her article Ms Chapman hints he’s likely to plod on to 70. When he does eventually retire he’ll leave His Majesty with a much denuded… Read more »
Thank you Father Dean. I actually feel quite sorry for the members of the royal family who find themselves in a difficult life not of their own choice. My issue is not with them personally, but with the display of hypocrisy and double standards that is required in Government, church and the press to maintain the illusion around them In a proper democracy, with proper separation of church and state, one can at least vote and speak against the process of choosing the head of state. But in the UK in what way can somebody who is both Christian and… Read more »
I suppose you’d have to lobby your MP for a change in the arrangements. I think that there is still a significant majority of the public in favour of a constitutional monarchy so I don’t think that many politicians will have an appetite for your cause. The late Queen’s unparalleled devotion to duty did not help the republican movement’s fortunes.
With all due respects to the late Queen, the difference between the carefully curated image of the Queen held in popular esteem, and the behaviour and culture of the Royal Household which served her, is an example of the hypocrisy and double standards mentioned above.
A lot goes on behind the veil of confidentiality carefully maintained by Government and Crown. And nobody wants that veil to be lifted.
I made one reply to you, the I realised that a more eloquent one may have been written by one of my Heroes, Edward Carpenter, back in Victorian times. I don’t think much has changed. “BRITISH ARISTOCRACY AND THE HOUSE OF LORDS IT has often been said that our victory at Waterloo was a great misfortune to England; and in general terms the truth of this remark can hardly be gainsaid. Our successes as against the armies of the French Revolution certainly kept the current of new human forces and ideas associated with that movement at a distance, and… Read more »
You need business skills to run a church or a parish but that doesn’t mean you should run a parish or a church as if it were a business. If you run a parish as a business your success will be judged by the numbers you attract each Sunday and the money you bring in. These are important considerations of course but they are not the only ones. It is our Christian duty to care for the vulnerable, the inadequate, the outsider, the unhappy, the difficult, the confrontational and those who haven’t made a success of life. Such people need… Read more »
I have some sympathy with Dr Chaplin’s suggestion that this be the last sacral coronation, because it is evident (at least from a practical perspective) that the sovereign holds his position solely by dint of public approval, even if some of us might still be tempted by the siren song of divine right. In the model of disestablishment I prepared in 2015-16 I envisaged any residual connection between the Church and the monarch (or republican head of state) in his or her capacity as ‘supreme governor’ being a purely personal and private one. Therefore, there could still be a coronation,… Read more »
Your suggestion sounds, to this Yank, rather like our own inauguration ceremonies which–despite a Constitutional requirement of church-state separation–usually include an invocation and other prayers and even the addition of “so help me God” to the presidential oath (although the official text of said oath in the Constitution contains no such avowal).
God bless “ceremonial deism”!
Since there is no “I agree/disagree” button: Well said, I had the same thought regarding Froghole’s proposal/ It sounded to me more like an inauguration also. The USA may have a majority of people who profess to believe in Christianity, according to opinion polls, but it is by no means an officially Christian nation. In fact, an early US treaty with a Muslim country explicitly stated the USA was not a Christian nation. Theoretically, the religion (or atheism or agnosticism) of the president ought to be irrelevant and the inauguration completely secular. But we haven’t elected anyone who did not… Read more »
I am fairly certain that the US will, within my lifetime (I turn 71 in nine days), have a non-Christian President, probably Jewish…although maybe agnostic.
Mazel Tov on turning 71! I turn 70 in June. You are far more optimistic than I am about that possibility. I do not think it will happen in my lifetime. As one of my sisters likes to say, the prior president made prejudice acceptable again. Prejudice never went completely away with the various civil rights movements, people kept it to themselves. But now it’s in the open again. Combine that with the continuing rise of very conservative Christians, who are flexing their muscle by using the Republican Party to attack trans people with oppressive laws in numerous states, and… Read more »
Thanks. My view entirely (although I call said event ‘voluntary’ rather than ‘private’). I argue it in ch 3 of Beyond Establishment. If there’s a link to your 2016 piece I’d be interested to see it.
Many thanks, Dr Chaplin. I sent the document via email to what I believe is your Cambridge University account yesterday. It is very boring (so would fully understand if it winds up in the deleted items file) but if you do have it and are interested, I am amenable to any criticism or suggestions, no matter how savage. It is, of course, the work of an amateur, and it is in need of in-line explanatory notes, whereas I provided a separate explanatory commentary in long letters to at least one recipient after I drafted it. I have done little work… Read more »
Jonathan Chaplin’s piece is excellent.
The Rebecca Chapman article reminds us that “…Lambeth Palace declared ‘no changes to the formal structures of the Anglican Communion can be made unless they are agreed upon by the Instruments of Communion’ ”. She reminds as well that the CofE rejected the Anglican Covenant. The Lambeth Call: Anglican Identity (3.3, 3.4) called for the review of the instruments of Communion and the possibility of new instruments. The most recent ACC has picked up the conversation. So, the jockeying and posturing has now begun both in both the Anglican Communion and other Anglican entities–including among culturally conservative North Americans. The… Read more »
Of course the Anglican Church of Canada is not alone in never reversing allowing LGBTQ people to have a place in the Church. My diocese is fiercely anchored in the Gospel value of being a bridge between God and ALL God’s children.
Right Revd Julio C Martín
Anglican Diocese of the Southeast
Thanks. Good to know. It is hard to imagine going backwards based on the diocese of Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island experience. Many of our parishes now proudly fly the rainbow flag. I could have added that the Lambeth Calls themselves are suggestive of products of lobbying and posturing, so it will be interesting to watch the politics play out. I hope all is going well in Mexico for you.
Amen. Good to see you here again, old friend! Our family are making plans to go camping again in your old parish this coming summer.
‘Post-colonialism takes many forms in the Communion.’
Exactly right, Rod.
from Jonathan’s article: ‘we will be fascinated by close-up shots of the complex liturgical choreography of the event ……. This will include the eucharist …..’ I wonder – as far as I can discern, the contextualising of the coronation within the eucharist has not actually been confirmed. A list of the elements of the service, published on the Times website today, and looking as though it is quoting from somewhere official (though no acknowledgement is given,) makes no reference to the eucharist. If there is to be no eucharist then the sacramental element of the service becomes concentrated in the… Read more »
Very interesting, thanks. Will await sight of full liturgy with much interest.
Tradition, dating practically from the Heptarchy, is that a coronation is a sort of ordination service, which is almost always (and in many jurisdictions, *must be*) within the context of a Eucharist.
I have commented during an earlier TA discussion that a Eucharist just for the two royals and not all attendees is highly problematic. It seems to me that combining that issue with a wish to reduce the length of the public rite (and at The King’s age, cost isn’t the only consideration) suggests that the best alternative would be for the royal couple to attend a private Eucharist with their spiritual advisers (plus family? plus court?) before heading to the Abbey, or even the evening before.
Or any attendees who want to receive communion that day could do so before heading to the Abbey. Communion for the King and Queen only (plus those in the sanctuary) is not the ideal (and certainly not ‘highly problematic’), but for a once-in-a-lifetime event, it’s something that we ought to be able to forgive. With covid not so far in the past, we all know about making a spiritual communion. And “the King’s age”… please!
Excluding people from Communion when the King takes vows as Defender of the Faith would make those vows hollow.
If I had an invitation to the coronation, and if I were to attend, I would not feel excluded if communion could not be offered to me on this unique occasion. I would also not be offended by not being anointed with holy oil. I remember the time (50+ years ago) when my parish’s Sunday solemn mass did not offer communion to the congregation: it was altar party only. That was the case every week. That was offensive.
It wasn’t me. Are you perhaps thinking of this comment?
Apologies! Yes, it was that comment, but Simon Kershaw posted it.
I cannot now locate which thread but in a very recent one Anthony Archer describes Oxford Conservative Evangelicals as wicked. I happen to be an Oxford Conservative Evangelical myself so noticed his comment. To be clear, my view is that Anthony is responsible for his own speech and if he chooses to express himself in such terms that is a matter for him. I would not wish to see him constricted in speech. However I am repeatedly criticised for my comments and called on to withdraw statements and I have never called anybody wicked ! Why are there such double… Read more »
It’s in the comments on the City of London chapter.
“unction” – the anointing with holy oil – which in 1953 was shielded from the cameras because of its sacred character. — Jonathan Chaplin I think it was also to preserve the Queen’s dignity and person. What a great piece by Mr. Chaplin, if I may say so as a Yank. Royal public ceremonies, when held in a cathedral, look spectacular and satisfy many of the public’s need for pomp and a good show (including me). It’s a great way for the monarchy to stress its importance. But the CofE’s role, through the ABC(?) of confirming King Charles III as… Read more »
James II, not Charles II, was ousted in the Glorious Revolution.
One wonders whether the resulting non-juring bishops and priests set a pattern for today’s dissenters.
Your history is a bit awry. You have confused Charles II for James II who was deposed in favour of William and Mary. (Off-subject, although the fact is played down, Charles II converted to Roman Catholicism on his death bed – I have heard that reasserted by an RC priest only this year.) We don’t yet know exactly what the coronation of Charles III will involve, but consecration by anointing with chrism oil which has been a feature since Saxon times, now more than 1,000 years, will continue this time. I agree with you, very sadly, that a high proportion… Read more »
Isn’t there a memorial to Charles II in St Peter’s Cathedral in Rome? I recall seeing it a few years ago.
Are you thinking of this monument to James Francis Edward Stuart (the Old Pretender and son of James II & VII) and his two sons?
Not to Charles II, I’m afraid! More mistaken identities! The Stuart memorial in St Peter’s Basilica (St John Lateran is Rome’s cathedral) is to James III (deprived after James II was deposed), his sons Charles Edward (‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’) and Henry Benedict, Duke of York, also a Cardinal. Pope Pius XII arranged for their re-burial together in a sarcophagus illustrated with a general history in the link below:
A blessed Good Friday to all here at Thinking Anglicans. I’m seven hours behind the UK, so as I write this at just after 8 a.m. my time, I’m conscious that some of you may just be finishing a three-hour devotion (noon to 3 pm UK time). We don’t do that at St. Margaret’s, Edmonton, but we will use the very moving Good Friday service from our Book of Alternative Services at 10.30 this morning. I’m thankful for our fellowship in prayer and worship around the globe on this holy day. Peace to you all.
I’m not minded to agree with Jonathan Chaplin’s article, on many grounds, but by far the most egregious error is that he describes Liverpool’s match with Brentford as ‘crucial’…