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The State Opening of Parliament 

The UK general election took place on Thursday 4 July 2024. The new Parliament met on Tuesday 9 July 2024 for the election of the Speaker and swearing-in of MPs and Lords. The State Opening of Parliament and The King’s Speech will take place on Wednesday 17 July 2024.

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View the 2024 general election results.

Religion and belief

Parliament has been a dominant force in shaping the religious life of the nation. The Church of England was created by parliamentary statute, and was protected from its enemies by further laws.  

The Church is an integral part of the state and this position has been strongly upheld by Parliament.  

Over time Parliament has responded to changing social realities and relaxed the laws on religious liberty. 

Case study: Charles Stanhope and Freedom of Religion

The Parliamentary Archives worked with Kent History and Library Centre to explore the life and career of Charles Stanhope, 3rd Earl Stanhope. Find out more here.


Explore the Parliamentary collections for documents about the history of the Book of Common Prayer

Key dates

Follow the course of important religious laws from medieval times to the present


Here are just some of the books about religion in Britain

Contemporary Context

Read about Parliament's recent revisions to the blasphemy laws

Related information

Current parliamentary business on the topic of the Church and state

Related Information

Current parliamentary business on the topic ofthe Church and state