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Sunday, January 17, 1999 Published at 05:06 GMT


Charles 'plans coronation overhaul'

Prince Charles in Swaziland: His coronation could be radical

The coronation of Prince Charles is being planned as a multi-faith ceremony, it has been reported.

BBC Religious Affairs Correspondent Alex Kirby: A step too far for church leaders?
Church of England bishops want to make the radical change to the traditional Christian service, says the Independent on Sunday.

A consultation group on church-state relations, which has been meeting in Sheffield for almost a year, has on its agenda a plan for a coronation involving leaders of non-Christian faiths, says the report.

[ image: The Queen's aides have reportedly been consulted]
The Queen's aides have reportedly been consulted
Advisers to the Queen and Prince Charles have been consulted informally and believe that reform of the coronation ceremony is inevitable, says the newspaper.

But senior Church of England sources said the group is a private one, with no official standing.

The former Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend David Jenkins, a member of the group, said that the next reign should begin not with a coronation, but with a secular ceremony involving contributions from all faiths.

Church sources said this was his personal view and that there are at the moment no official plans of any kind to draw up a new coronation service.

The BBC's Alex Kirby: "Church of England sources say the group is not official"
A Lambeth Palace spokesman said the Queen was in excellent health and, while the time would come for thinking about the next coronation, that moment had not yet arrived.

BBC correspondent Alex Kirby says it is clear that there will be some changes when the next monarch is crowned, but it is far from clear what sort of changes they will be.

The Prince of Wales has made clear he wants to be the "defender of faith" rather than "defender of the faith".

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