No need for special status (Andy Holt)
Leaving aside the complex and to this observer arcane workings of the council and its committees, I find myself in agreement with Dr Wills’ view on the representation of “religious” organisations on public bodies.
I think that if we wish to take part in public affairs what we bring to the table will be at least in part and quite possibly wholly motivated by our beliefs, aspirations and vision. There is no need for Christianity, for instance, to be granted special status above that accorded to, for the sake of argument, the Jedi Knights (no offence to them, I hope).
In my opinion, the worst thing that ever happened to Christianity was for it to become the state religion of the Roman Empire in the 4th century. This does not mean that I think we should be driven from the public sphere altogether as the so-called “New Atheists” would wish. It is my contention that as we take part in public life we will on the contrary gain new strength and confidence in our stance (I speak here as a Christian). We are witnesses to and participants in a time of momentous social change and as persons of faith we must involve ourselves on an equal footing with people of all shades of belief and none in shaping the future.