Coronation of Prince of Wales Should be Interfaith Event, Former Archbishop Says

June 4, 2006

Source: The Telegraph

On June 4, 2006 The Telegraph reported, "The coronation of the Prince of Wales must be an 'interfaith' event, the former Archbishop of Canterbury has controversially claimed. Lord Carey believes that the next coronation needs 'very significant changes' so that it is 'inclusive' of other religions that have spread across Britain. His comments, which are likely to cause a rift within the Church of England, suggest that Lord Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury for 11 years until 2002, has been won over by arguments from Prince Charles. The prince, who will become Supreme Governor of the Church of England when he becomes king, has already said that he wants to be Defender of Faith - not Defender of the Faith - when he accedes to the throne. Lord Carey's comments will set him and the prince against Dr Rowan Williams, the current Archbishop of Canterbury, and other senior figures in the Church of England. Dr Williams has emphasised the need for Prince Charles to defend the Church of England when he becomes king. In a television interview to be broadcast later this month, Lord Carey says: 'When the time comes for the next coronation there's got to be a number of changes. Very significant changes. The Queen came to the throne at a time when the Church of England was really the only Christian faith in the country. And there were no Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus around to be in any way evident in the life of the country. Now it's a completely different world, so... [i]t's got to be a much more interfaith coronation service next time around... [T]here's no way in which the sovereign can be defender of one faith. Although I hope that the next coronation will say very firmly that Christianity is still the dominant faith of the United Kingdom... it's got to be a much more inclusive character.'"