Ruth Gledhill’s piece about former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey calling for the disestablishment of the Church of England is an intriguing one, if a little disorienting for Americans. (Not this one, as you can see for yourself!)
The best practical argument for disestablishment, however, is that it would give more freedom to the church to set its own agenda.
We’ve already noted that there has been talk about Parliament forcing the CofE to admit women bishops. In the gay-crazy mood the UK is in these days, we’re honestly surprised that the government allowed Rowan Williams to humour the Global South the way he did in Dar-es-Salaam. The main reason why they haven’t is that the CofE isn’t a very significant part of Britain’s landscape any more except for its empty church buildings. And there’s always the National Trust for those in a crunch.
But we know that, with the homosexuals, there’s not an insignificant enough opponent they won’t try to crush sooner or later.
Historically, in the nineteenth century the CofE had difficulties "getting to the masses" because it literally took an Act of Parliament to establish or abolish a parish. This rigidity helped the growth of the Nonconformists.
The only unknown is whether or not the Church of England would use the freedom of "privitisation" wisely if it ever got it.