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King pledges to protect all faiths

16 September 2022

As a member of the Church of England, my Christian beliefs have love at their very heart

The Royal Family/Twitter

The Archbishop of Canterbury and the King in conversation during a reception for religious leaders held in Buckingham Palace on Friday afternoon

The Archbishop of Canterbury and the King in conversation during a reception for religious leaders held in Buckingham Palace on Friday afternoon

THE King has described himself a committed Anglican who sees it as his duty to protect the place of different faiths in the nation.

Speaking at a reception for religious leaders in Buckingham Palace on Friday afternoon, he said: “I am a committed Anglican Christian, and at my Coronation I will take an oath relating to the settlement of the Church of England. At my Accession, I have already solemnly given — as has every Sovereign over the last 300 years — an Oath which pledges to maintain and preserve the Protestant faith in Scotland.”

He continued: “I have always thought of Britain as a ‘community of communities.’ That has led me to understand that the Sovereign has an additional duty — less formally recognized but to be no less diligently discharged. It is the duty to protect the diversity of our country, including by protecting the space for Faith itself and its practise through the religions, cultures, traditions and beliefs to which our hearts and minds direct us as individuals.

“This diversity is not just enshrined in the laws of our country, it is enjoined by my own faith. As a member of the Church of England, my Christian beliefs have love at their very heart. By my most profound convictions, therefore — as well as by my position as Sovereign — I hold myself bound to respect those who follow other spiritual paths, as well as those who seek to live their lives in accordance with secular ideals.”

The King’s remarks echo those made by the late Queen in a speech in Lambeth Palace in 2012, during the celebrations of her Diamond Jubilee. She said that the Established Church had a duty “not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions,” but “to protect the free prac­tice of all faiths in this country” (News, 17 February 2012).

In his remarks to religious leaders on Friday afternoon, the King concluded by saying that “our richly diverse society” contained different beliefs, which could “only thrive through a clear collective commitment to those vital principles of freedom of conscience, generosity of spirit and care for others which are, to me, the essence of our nationhood. I am determined, as King, to preserve and promote those principles across all communities, and for all beliefs, with all my heart.

“This conviction was the foundation of everything my beloved mother did for our country, over her years as our Queen. It has been the foundation of my own work as Prince of Wales. It will continue to be the foundation of all my work as King.”

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