The Chinese Model of State-Sanctioned Religion?
Don't get me wrong, I don't believe the Anglican Church has much relevance in British society since its orders are surely 'null and void'. The refashioning of the hierarchy according to equalities discourse does it no favours, wins it no more converts and serves not to make it more relevant, but more irrelevant to the modern age.
The kowtowing to modern trends in sociological theory and the 'equal' workplace dogma only serves to make it appear less and less like a Church and more and more like any other institution. Though this Church was founded not on Christ and St Peter, but an earthly king with some earthly motives who sought power over the true Church, even perhaps liberal Anglicans would have to admit, if questioned, that the Church was not established to be 'just like any other British institution'. To say that would be to suggest that Our Lord was 'just like any other man' when in fact, He makes it plain that His Kingdom 'is not of this World'. If you're expecting Heaven to be a democracy then you may get a shock when you meet St Peter at the pearly gates.
As Fr Alexander Lucie Smith eloquently says in his article for The Catholic Herald, there is another country in which the Church is an extension of the State, subject to its guidelines, beliefs and doctrines and that country is China. As Catholics we should keep an eye on what the Government wishes to impose upon the Church of England, because we'd be naive to think that once the Established Church has been fully taken over by the diktats of the State, the State wouldn't make moves upon the Bride of Christ Herself. All this and some pretty stringent press regulation no doubt in the offing as well...oh, and those plans for secret courts and an extension of the role of social services. Pray for freedom and pray also for Her Majesty the Queen who must be looking upon recent events and government minister's statements with a concerned eye.
The State and the Church always live in a certain tension, perhaps because those in power in the State view the Church with a certain envy over the power of belief and the ability of the Church to inform opinion and influence belief. What the Church does, or is meant to do, by virtue of Her mission, the State tries to ape by propaganda and the power of the mass media. While it might be true that neither the CoE or the Catholic Church has been particularly effective in evangelizing the United Kingdom over the last 40 years, the fact remains that in an era in which religion is deemed to be something that takes place in the private sphere only, the State is bound to seize the opportunity to take advantage of perceived weakness in the Church.
If disestablishment were to be the end game or end result of these kind of government shenanigans then that is an issue in itself with profound constitutional ramifications. Something tells me, however, that the real target is the only spiritual power capable of taking on the rise of an arrogant and power-thirsty State seeking to impose a new religion of secularism like a blanket of permafrost over the United Kingdom. That power, is, of course, the Catholic Church.