We campaign for a secular state; by this we mean a state where public institutions are separate from religious institutions and treat all citizens impartially regardless of their religious or non-religious beliefs. This would include, for example, a separation of church and state so that the Head of State were not also Head of the Church of England an end to Bishops sitting as of right in the House of Lords and an end to other constitutional privileges for the Church and religions, and discrimination based on religion or belief.
Our ultimate aim is for a constitutional situation in the UK which will best support the ideal of an open society.
The UK is the only democratic state to reserve places in its Parliament for the established Church.This is in spite of the fact that the Church of England commands little public support, with only 23% of the population professing to be affiliated to the Church of England, according to the 2010 British Social Attitudes survey (and of this number, half never attend church). Modern Britain is a diverse society, and home to many beliefs. We want constitutional reform that will end the anachronistic established status of the Church of England and the privileged position of religion generally in the UK.
What are we doing?
Campaigns to do with the constitution are mainly reactive – currently we are working on Bishops in the Lords.
What can you do?
Write to your MP and ask them to support the disestablishment of the Church of England.
You can also support the BHA’s campaigns by becoming a member. Campaigns cost money – quite a lot of money – and we need your financial support. Instead or in addition, you can make a donation to the BHA.