Hodder & Stoughton
ISBN 976 1 399 80007 5
Price £12.99
390 pages

This comprehensive book was first published to coincide with the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, which had the rather Star Trek sounding subtitle The British monarchy, religion, and the next generation. It has been revised and expanded to reflect on the implications for religion in Britain, particularly of the Church of England of the coronation of King Charles III.

The first part of the book traces the roots of Christian faith, language, and symbolism in the British monarchy in general, and the coronation, in particular. The book then explores what these things meant for the late Queen Elizabeth II and her consort Prince Philip. The book concludes with a reflection on whether there will be a substantial change of tone when King Charles III is crowned.

This later section does possess some of the Royal correspondent type sources close to the palace language but is generally illuminating and suggestive. The book contains helpful details concerning King Charles personal statements about his faith, his musing on being “Defender of the faith, and the role of Camilla.

Some constitutional and ecclesiastical historians might take issue with some of the details here, but what is clear is that the links between Christian faith and symbolism, and the British Royal family are clear and integral.

The author writes of the coronation on 6 May:

“It is a ceremony that is about connecting us with the past, understanding the present and thinking about the future. It may even point the way to God. It will certainly shape this country’s narrative for years to come.”

Read the book to be informed and pray that the coronation will indeed point the way to God.

John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex. He is Director of Training at the School of Preachers in Riga, Latvia.