I read that some senior clergymen want to lose their seats in the Lords, and some Labour MPs think it would be another glorious chapter in their modernising of Britain to abolish an Established Church in England.
I wonder if by chance they have at last been reading some English history, and have stumbled over what a money spinner the Reformation was for Henry and Cromwell? It would be an interesting question who owns the assets stashed away by the Church Commissioners, and who should have title to them if we are to have revoltutionary change in the nature of the Church.
Whilst the Bishops might think it would be automatic that the money and buildings should pass with them in charge to a new and differently structured Anglican Church, the Labour left might have other ideas. They might argue that the Church and state have been so intermingled over the last 500 years, that some if not all of the money and buildings based in England should rest with the state for good causes, a new kind of Lottery giving Labour MPs more power to borrow and spend. Or they might decide to let competition flourish, and split the Endowment between competing religious leaders making a case that they could run a better Church which reached out more than the current Establishment manages.
The Archbishop miight find that opening up the issue of establishment takes the debate in ways he will find less comfortable. There might be no automatic right for him to lead the new Church, which would presumably wish to exercise its new found freedom in unpredictable ways. It would certainly mean an end to the present system of choosing the Bishops and Archbishops with an involvement for 10 Downing Street in the appointments. Who knows, people might even want an elected Archbishop, to create someone with more political and moral authority. Whatever method of choosing a religious leader which the new Church decided upon might result in a different bench of Bishops once it was properly up and running.