7 thoughts on “Fearsomely Reverend James Jones, ex-Lord Bishop of Liverpool and Bishop of Prisons

  1. ‘“The British constitution is rooted in the Christian religion” – and you’d better not forget it. I have my seat in the House of Lords as a Divine Right to govern you lot, along with a Christian monarch; this is what the Coronation was all about, and what the Queen signifies – spiritually.’

    Jones rather debunked himself this morning. He made a big point about how the monarchy re-formed itself when it lost effective political power. He should, of course gone on to speculate how the Royal family needs now to re-form itself in a post-Christian, secular age; and as symbolic head of a country where – even in its secular state – there is a greater diversion of regions (never mind that they are all incompatible).

    As mentioned a few days ago on here, there’s little doubt that the next Coronation service, whenever it comes, will be stuffed with a plethora of ‘faith’ leaders. But that will be completely to deny the true picture of the UK today, where religion is in decline and seen increasingly to be irrelevant.

    Over to you, Bishop..,


    1. Before I start on the real reason for writing (see elsewhere) I have to thank you for setting off a fascinating (to me) chain of imagined events.
      “… there is a greater diversion of regions…”
      And immediately I saw Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Cornwall and Yorkshire as on a cartoon map snap off from the UK and go their separate ways. “How true;” I thought, “they are incompatible.”
      Then I realised, “diversity of religions” and all my balloons were punctured: but still, “How true.”


  2. “It is those god given value of justice and mercy that define the British constitution.”
    Well it might be justice and mercy that define it (but that is another argument), but god-given is a big leap from reality.
    If the coronation is a spiritual act done in the Christian god’s name then what will Charles say at his coronation after his “I want to be leader of faiths” comment? William seems to go along with the Christian bits so far but I’m not fooled – he is an atheist in waiting, ready to update the monarchy when his granny dies.


  3. The Bishop is surely mistaken in asserting that the authority, responsibility and power of the Government ultimately stem from the Coronation oath. That may have been the case in George III’s time, but there is now an extensive legal framework, both statutory and judge-made, that defines what the Government and its Ministers can and cannot do. Although the Crown can and does try to influence legislation when it affects Crown interests, the last monarch who tried to seriously interfere in the wider decisions of the elected Government was George V, over 100 years ago.

    When the time comes, Brian may well be made to say the words of the Coronation oath, but the contents, including the bits that tell him to be just and merciful, are an irrelevant dead letter. And when his son’s turn comes around, we can anticipate that the religious bits will be as well.


  4. Jones’s piece of sycophantic, grovelling guff and gush did the monarchy no favours whatsoever. The only way the British monarchy will survive once Her Maj is no longer with us is by abandoning its out-dated customs and trappings of bygone ages, and adopting a more secular, outward, and forward-looking role. I hope King Charles the Third, or whatever he decides to call himself, will have the nous and courage to do this, and to scale down the size of the monarchy by kicking out useless ‘minor’ royals and hangers-on. I would much prefer to have a reformed monarchy than a succession of boring old farts in grey suits as President, but whether this happens will depend on the monarchy’s capacity to reform itself.

    As for Prince William declaring himself an atheist – I doubt if he possesses enough intellectual curiosity to have even thought about it.


  5. The real problem with the British constitution is that there isn’t one. The British citizen, and it was during my lifetime that the citizen was a subject, might claim protection afforded by the law but laws can be changed, and have been, by Parliament, many times. “Times have changed.” “Those conditions no longer apply.” “There is an emergency.” Sometimes it is even true.
    Great claims are made for Magna Carta but hardly any of that remains in force. Even when it was sealed it only applied to free people, a minority.
    And I am heading off course on a pet subject. What we need is a constitution, preferably republican, secular and soon.


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