Page last updated at 17:05 GMT, Monday, 26 November 2012
The Week in Parliament: 23 November 2012

What is the relationship between church and state?

Does Parliament have a right to interfere in church matters?

On 20 November The Church of England's General Synod narrowly voted against introducing women bishops.

The vote, seen by many as a victory for traditionalists, has left the church looking out of kilter with the world around it.

In Westminster, MPs from all parties expressed their disappointment at the outcome.

Prime Minister David Cameron said he that while he respected the decision he believed the Church of England needed "a sharp prod".

But can Parliament intervene in church matters?

Constitutional historian Dr Bob Morris, Conservative MP Peter Bone and Labour MP Ben Bradshaw, a member of Parliament's Ecclesiastical Committee, joined Keith Macdougall to discuss the relationship between church and state.

Earl Ferrers remembered

Lord Strathclyde remembers the late Earl Ferrers

The Conservative hereditary peer Earl Ferrers, who has died at the age of 83, first entered the House of Lords back in 1954.

During his 58 years in the upper house Earl Ferrers served in the governments of five Conservative prime ministers.

In 1999, his popularity was such that he came top in the ballot to choose 92 hereditaries to remain in the House.

The Leader of the Lords, Lord Strathclyde, joined us to remember Earl Ferrers, whose contributions to peers' debates were rarely less than highly entertaining.


Watch The Week in Parliament on BBC Parliament at 11pm on Friday 23 November, 11.05am on Sunday 25 November and 9am on Monday 26 November.

To watch the programme on iPlayer, visit the programme page.




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