The former Bishop of Oxford, Lord Harries of Pentregarth, has said readings from the Quran, central religious text of Islam, should feature in the next Coronation, when Prince Charles succeeds to the Throne.

In a debate on the role of religion in British public life, Lord Harries, now an independent peer praised what he called “the hospitality” shown in a service last year at Bristol Cathedral.

“The relationship of the Church of England to the state has changed, is changing, and could change further,” he said in the House of Lords.

He said that at a civic service in Bristol Cathedral last year authorities had agreed to a reading of the opening passage of the Koran before the beginning of the Christian ritual. He said: “It was a brilliant creative act of accommodation that made the Muslim high sheriff feel,” as she said, warmly embraced but did not alienate the core congregation.

“That principle of hospitality can and should be reflected in many public ceremonies, including the next coronation service.”

However, Douglas Murray, author and associate editor of The Spectator, disagreed saying: “A lot of people will think this is an example of Anglican leaders not having faith in their own faith.”