The Queen must quash Chris Bryant's anti-Anglican obsessions
He seems to want the entire British Constitution re-ordered to suit his own petty obsessions. Not content with hacking away at the Act of Settlement, or aggravating for equal 'gay marriage', or riding roughshod over the General Synod by demanding that Parliament impose women bishops upon the Church of England, Labour's Chris Bryant MP now wants to turn the historic Anglican Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, beneath the Palace of Westminster, into a multi-faith prayer room.
This would then permit the venue to bypass Anglican strictures and be used to conduct same-sex weddings.
So, a centuries-old Christian crypt - which stood beneath the Royal Chapel of St Stephen and dates back to 1135 (where His Grace was consecrated Archbishop) - is to be stripped of its crosses and Christian iconography in order that the odd gay MP can be joined in holy bi-patrimony (and lesbians in holy bi-matrimony). No doubt Christ Bryant would seek to remove a few rows of pews as well, just to make room for the prayer mats, and then re-plaster and paint the walls magnolia as symbol of 'secular neutrality', so that Muslim politicians (who have never complained) won't feel offended by the visions of painted saints and gilded idols
According to The Telegraph, the plans 'are being considered by senior parliamentary officials together with Helen Grant, the Equalities Minister.
This is quite astonishing, not least because 'the plans' are not for a here-today-gone-tomorrow Equalities Minister to propose, and neither are they for 'parliamentary officials' to consider, however senior. Like Westminster Abbey and certain other places of worship, the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft is a 'Royal Peculiar'; that is to say, its clergy are accountable not to the Bishop of London or to the Archbishop of Canterbury, but directly to the Monarch. It is, effectively, the Queen's private chapel. As Supreme Governor of the Church of England, it is inconceivable that she would agree to its re-designation as a multi-faith prayer room, not least because it would be a contravention of her Coronation Oath to defend the Protestant Reformed Religion. And the Palace of Westminster has many hundreds of rooms, any one of which might be used by non-Christian politicians for meditation or quiet contemplation without the need for a Bryant's zeal for the dissolution of a chapel.
It comes as no surprise to learn that Chris Bryant has sought (and been granted) the support of John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, in his Cromwellian quest (Oliver Cromwell had the crypt whitewashed and used it to stable his horses). Apparently, the Speaker has asked Black Rod, Lt Gen David Leakey, who is responsible for the Chapel, to examine the proposals.
When he consults Buckingham Palace, the Queen is likely to respond politely in the negative, while really thinking 'Over my dead body'.
And that, no doubt, is what Chris Bryant and John Bercow are actually waiting for. It's just damned inconvenient to the aggressive secularists and multi-faith ecumenists having a Supreme Governor of the Church of England who speaks openly of the gospel of forgiveness, the uniqueness of Jesus the Saviour, and the love of God through Christ our Lord.
Her Majesty is fully aware of the significant position of the Church of England in our nation’s life. "The concept of our established Church is occasionally misunderstood and, I believe, commonly under-appreciated," she said last year. "Its role is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions. Instead, the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country.
"It certainly provides an identity and spiritual dimension for its own many adherents. But also, gently and assuredly, the Church of England has created an environment for other faith communities and indeed people of no faith to live freely. Woven into the fabric of this country, the Church has helped to build a better society – more and more in active co-operation for the common good with those of other faiths."
Chris Bryant and John Bercow are simply deaf and blind to this spiritual reality.