England

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England is the largest of four countries that form United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The other three countries are Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

England has a protestant Established or State Religion in the form of [http//www.cofe.anglican.org/ The Church of England], the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

While there is a state religion, it has very limited impact on every day life. In 2007 a report was published by The Church of England which indicated that church attendance was falling between 1 and 3 percent a year between 2004 and 2005. The number of people attending traditional Sunday services was only 881,000 (which is approximately 1.8% of the population of England.) There are a great many other religions represented in the population and some have suggested that the decline in Church of England attendances is matched by a rise in popularity of other religions.


Church and State

There is no separation of Church and State in England. Church of England bishops each have a seat in the House of Lords (the upper chamber of parliament) by right. The nominal head of the Church of England is Queen Elisabeth. The everyday leader of the church is the current Archbishop of Canterbury. Bishops are formally appointed by the current Prime Minister who is given a short-list of two names selected by a special church commission.

Despite the closeness of church and state, it is very rare for a English politician to parade his faith (if any.) Tony Blairs press secretary, Alastair Campbell, famously said “We don’t do God.” yet immediately after Blairs resignation Blair converted to Catholicism an act that surprised many. In an earlier interview with the BBC, Tony Blair said that he had avoided talking about his religious views while in office for fear of being labelled "a nutter".

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