The Archbishop of Canterbury,
12th July, 1990.
Now here's a thing: I am currently considering changing my name, but I was somewhat shocked to read in Percy Richer's excellent book "Richer's Legal Nuggets - A money-saving guide to everyday legal problems" (ISBN: 0-356-12823-7) that, due to the fact that I have been baptised (well, christened, actually, but it's the same thing isn't it?), I have to obtain the permission of a bishop beforehand.
This doesn't strike me as very fair; why should the fact that I was once christened without my consent prevent me from changing my name at will (or, indeed, to Will)? Presumably, somebody christened as a Moslem, Jew or Moonie could change his name at the drop of a hat. Don't you think that, in this now multi-cultural country, the law should get rid of its Christian bias?
So, there you have it. I haven't committed myself to changing my name just yet, but, just in case, could you please send me an un-christening application form, or whatever it is you have? On second thoughts, you'd better send a couple - my friend Craig Fitzroy is thinking of changing his name too, and who could blame him?
Best wishes to you in your forthcoming retirement.