an information resource
for orthodox Anglicans

Faith, not just frescoes, drawing millions to cathedrals, says heritage chief

April 23rd, 2014 Jill Posted in Church of England, Faith Comments Off

by John Bingham, Telegraph

Chief executive of English Heritage says attraction of worship as much as historical treasures helping cathedrals draw 12 million visitors a year

The lure of Christian worship as much as the attraction of history and architecture is driving a boom in visits to cathedrals, according to the guardian of England’s national heritage.

Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, said it was clear that cathedrals are bucking a national trend towards declining church attendance.
Official figures from the Church of England show that the 42 Anglican cathedrals in England alone attracted around 12 million visitors last year.
One recent study by the think-tank Theos estimated that across the UK at least 11 million Britons – not counting foreign tourists or school parties – visit cathedral at least once a year, more than a quarter of the entire adult population.
While medieval art and architecture are a major draw for visitors, attendance at services in cathedrals has also leapt by more than a third in a decade.
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

‘Britain IS a Christian country – and we respect that’: Hindu, Muslim and Sikh leaders back the PM after ‘militant atheists’ tell him to keep quiet on religion

April 22nd, 2014 Jill Posted in Faith, Politics Comments Off

By Jason Groves and Louise Eccles, Mailonline

David Cameron was last night urged to stand up to the ‘militant atheists’ who want to deny Britain’s Christian heritage.

Leaders of many faiths backed the Prime Minister’s decision to talk openly about his beliefs after it was criticised in a letter by non-believers.

MPs also said he must not allow himself to be shouted down by ‘aggressive’ atheists who want faith to be cut out of politics and national life.

The Prime Minister came under fire after a group of celebrity atheists said he was wrong to declare Britain a ‘Christian country’. Their open letter said Britain is not a ‘Christian country’ and argued that most members of the public ‘do not want religions or religious identities to be actively prioritised by their elected government’. The letter, signed by more than 50 celebrities, scientists and academics, including the authors Philip Pullman and Sir Terry Pratchett and TV presenter Nick Ross, also accused the PM of sowing ‘alienation and division’ and fuelling ‘sectarian divides’. But the claims were rubbished by MPs along with British faith leaders from the Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh communities yesterday.

Senior Tory Gary Streeter, chairman of the cross-party group Christians in Parliament, urged the PM to face down his atheist critics. He said: ‘These people say it is offensive to say Britain is a Christian country, but offensive to who? Other religious groups welcome the fact we are talking about faith.’

Read here   

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Civil servants sent on course telling them how to ‘do God’: Many don’t know basics of Christianity

April 18th, 2014 Jill Posted in Faith, Politics Comments Off

By Daniel Martin, Mailonline

Civil servants are being given lessons on religion amid fears that many have no understanding of Christianity and other faiths.

In a sign of the increasing secularisation of our public services, employees across Whitehall have been urged to attend ‘How should governments “do” God’ seminars.

The events are designed to help officials ensure policies meet the needs of religious people.

Faith groups said it was astonishing that the civil service is so packed with metropolitan atheists that they have to be reminded to take into account the views of millions who are members of a major religion.

The seminars, which have been advertised across government departments, are being arranged by the faith team at the Department of Communities and Local Government.

They are designed to combat the sort of ‘biblical illiteracy’ which saw an Oxford Council official refuse permission for a traditional Good Friday Passion play.

As reported in yesterday’s Daily Mail, the official did not know what a Passion play was and thought it might be a sex show, rather than a traditional Easter performance depicting the trial, crucifixion and death of Jesus.

A flyer for the ‘How should governments “do” God?’ seminars, seen by the Mail, urges civil servants to sign up for them in order to ‘tailor your policy making to ensure it is responsive to the needs and perspectives of people of faith’.

Read here  

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

UK among most sceptical in world about religion

April 17th, 2014 Jill Posted in Faith Comments Off

From The Telegraph

Britons view religion as a less positive aspect in our lives than other countries and are among the most sceptical, survey finds

The British are among the most sceptical in the world about religion, a global study has found.

Just over a third of people in the UK believe religion has a positive role to play in our daily lives, compared to a global average of 59 per cent.

More than a quarter of Britons said they believe religious belief actually has a negative impact, while in countries like America and Hong Kong very few held this opinion.

The UK follows a trend in Western Europe to be sceptical of the role of religion, which is believed to be due to a greater acceptance of and number of people having secular beliefs.

Overall religion recorded a net positive score of just four per cent in Western Europe – less than the global score of 37 per cent positivity, and 33 per cent recorded in Eastern Europe.

Britons ranked religion as just six per cent positive overall.

This net, or overall, score was calculated by subtracting the total percentage of people who said religion has a negative impact on their country from those who said it is a positive aspect in their lives.

Read here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

David Cameron is a PM who does ‘do God’

April 17th, 2014 Jill Posted in Faith, Politics Comments Off

Telegraph Editorial

David Cameron famously described his Christian faith as being a “bit like the reception for Magic FM in the Chilterns: it sort of comes and goes”. Yet recently, the signal appears to have been amplified. Mr Cameron has already praised the contribution that Christians make to society, referred to Jesus as “our saviour” and spoken of the “moments of greatest peace” that he has experienced attending the Eucharist. But in a new article he appears to go further than ever before, urging Christians to be “more evangelical” about their beliefs – to “get out there and make a difference to people’s lives”.

Those who know him say that the Prime Minister has always had a quiet but profound faith, one that helped him come to terms with the death of his eldest son. But this candour is not only new, but something of a departure for those in his position. Tony Blair was certainly a committed Christian, but was urged by Alastair Campbell to keep quiet about it on the grounds that here in Britain “we don’t do God”.

How refreshing, then, to have a Prime Minister who is willing to talk openly about the values that motivate him. How refreshing, also, to be reminded that, actually, the British do “do God”. We are a Christian country, whose laws, ethics, language and culture are the product of a particular religious foundation. True, church attendance may be falling (although not everywhere, as the Archbishop of Canterbury has reminded us). But polls show that there is a lingering popular desire for the transcendent and the meaning that it brings to believers’ lives. And Christians – along with Jews, Muslims and other faith groups – continue to play a large role in education and charity.

Read here

Read also:  Evangelical Dave believes in God – will voters believe in him? by Benedict Brogan, Telegraph (Judging by some of the comments on this article, quite a few won't – AM)

 What Cameron can do next for the churches by Paul Goodman, Conservative Home


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

“Muslim infiltration of education”: it’s not about faith schools

April 16th, 2014 Jill Posted in Education, Faith, Islam Comments Off

From Theos

In Birmingham, 25 schools are now being investigated by four separate enquiries after accusations that the have been “taken over” and “infiltrated” by “Muslim extremists”. The strategy was revealed in a letter between sent from Birmingham to Bradford, and forwarded to Birmingham City Council last year: "We have caused a great amount of organised disruption in Birmingham and as a result we now have our own academies and are on our way to getting rid of more headteachers and taking over their schools." It is not known whether the letter is genuine – others have suggested it’s a deliberately provocative hoax. Either way, it has prompted some 200 other complaints from parents and some teachers.

[...]  It has not yet been established whether or not the ‘Trojan Horse’ letter which prompted early concerns is genuine, or a provocative hoax. But if I were to lay a small bet on the matter, I would put it on a relatively small number of genuine cases of manipulation by Salafi groups, mixed with quite a lot of wider Muslim communities looking in legitimate ways for schooling that reflects their values, which prompts the beleaguered and marginalised minority white community to feel like they’re being robbed of the opportunity to have their children educated in a way that’s meaningful for them. It’s neither simple nor pretty, it’s just where we are. To use a sporting metaphor, these are the kind of balls that will pop out of the ruck of the heritage of naïve immigration policies, rapid demographic change and the growth in the number of academy schools.

One final point with which to conclude. None of the 25 schools being investigated are faith schools. Contrary to the vexatious claims of the National Secular Society, the issue has absolutely nothing to do with the state funding of religious schools. There may be problems and controversies around faith schools, but these events in Birmingham are not an instance of them. There may even be problems with faith schools in east Birmingham (I think there’s anecdotal evidence that white parents may favour Christian schools, for obvious reasons given the above), but Muslim communities, if they have sought to influence community schools or academies, will not have been caused to do so by the presence of schools with a religious foundation. If it’s been done, it would have been done anyway.

I make no claim to know the right policy response, but I think I could pick a few wrong ones. The most superficial thing that can be said about the business – remembering, of course, that we the general public are not yet in possession of anything like the full facts – is to use it as an argument against faith schools. As arguments go, its plain lazy.

Read here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

How a little faith can bring a lot of love

April 11th, 2014 Jill Posted in Faith Comments Off

From The Telegraph

Regular worshippers have a better love life, finds university research

Married churchgoers with busy social lives are likely to be the happiest in love, according to a study.

Researchers also noted that people aged 31 to 59 tended to be slightly happier with their love lives than those who were 60 and over.

And while education was found not to have an effect on a person’s happiness in love, religion was. The team, from the University of Porto in Portugal, noticed that people who regularly visit church tended to be more positive about their love lives. The finding backs up previous research that suggests religious involvement leads to better mental health and greater sexual relationships.

The study was published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life.

Read here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Cameron Speaks of Christian Faith as Day Ends With Hymn

April 10th, 2014 Jill Posted in Faith, Politics Comments Off

By Robert Hutton, Bloomberg

Prime Minister David Cameron, whose day began with the resignation of Culture Secretary Maria Miller, finished it with his eyes shut, leaning against a pillar in his London residence as a soprano sang for his Easter reception.
He had no comment on her choice of hymn: “Ave Maria.”
“The Bible tells us to bear one another’s burdens,” Cameron told his audience of Christian leaders and politicians at 10 Downing Street when she’d finished. “After the day I’ve had, I’m definitely looking for volunteers.”
Miller’s resignation over an expenses claim, after nearly a week of pressure from the media, the opposition and members of Cameron’s own Conservative Party, dominated the political day and the premier’s weekly question-and-answer session in Parliament. The affair has been an unwelcome distraction as the Tories campaign for local and European Parliament elections next month.
In his remarks at the reception, the prime minister made no reference to the issue that’s hurt his relationship with the Church of England over the past two years, the introduction of gay marriage — a policy overseen by Miller.
Read here
Read also:  David Cameron: 'Jesus invented the Big Society – I'm just continuing God's work' - Independent
David Cameron’s Easter speech: “Christians are now the most persecuted religion around the world” – God & Politics in the UK
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

How prophetic were Fulton Sheen’s words 80 years ago

April 6th, 2014 Jill Posted in Faith Comments Off

By Francis Phillips, Catholic Herald

Christians must go to the cross for the truth

Having recently blogged about the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen, I note an American blogger, Little Catholic Bubble, is reading his “Seven Last Words and the Seven Virtues” as a Lenten exercise. Reading one of the excerpts pulled me up short. The book was published as long ago as 1933 but it could be describing with uncanny accuracy the situation today. Sheen wrote, “We are at the end of a tradition and a civilization which believed we could preserve Christianity without Christ, religion without a creed, meditation without sacrifice, family life without moral responsibility, sex without purity and economics without ethics. We have completed our experiment of living without God…”
How prescient he was, though I am surprised that even in 1933, when Christian traditions and values in society and in family life still seemed to be stable and intact, he could see the writing on the wall. I think even Sheen would have been staggered at the speed at which his prophesy has been realised: changes in the definition and meaning of marriage; routine and widespread abortion; increasing pressure to legalise euthanasia – these are only some of the more obvious features of modern life taken for granted in the western world.
[...]  I sometimes think we inside the Church can get so worked up about “issues” – the informal “style” adopted by Pope Francis, whether one form of the liturgy is “better” than another and so on – that we lose sight of the one thing needful, pointed out by Bishop Bossuet. As I write this, the words of Bishop Egan of Portsmouth, who I blogged about last week, echo in my ears: “We will, being Christian, have to suffer and have to go to the Cross… because you have to witness to the truth.”

A brave Catholic blogger, Caroline Farrow of Catholic Voices, also discovered this when she spoke up from the floor in a recent BBC Question Time debate. The Catholic Herald this week relates her experience with the headline, “Blogger “spat at” after debating same-sex marriage on television.” Having watched a Youtube clip of this event, the hostility directed at Caroline is palpable.

Christians who put their head above the parapet and stand up for what they believe will increasingly discover to their cost what it is like to live in the kind of world that Fulton Sheen foretold so prophetically.
NB:  The discussion on gay marriage referred to above begins 39 minutes into the video.
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

In-demand schools: the gospel truth

March 29th, 2014 Jill Posted in Education, Faith Comments Off

By Graeme Paton, Telegraph

Religious belief may be in free fall, but faith schools’ appeal to the godly – or frankly desperate – is undimmed

The number of adults declaring a religious belief appears to have been in decline for years. According to the most recent census, the Christian population of England and Wales nosedived by about four million over the past decade, while the number of people with “no faith” almost doubled.

But there is one cross-section of the community that seems consistently immune to our collective slide towards agnosticism. Figures show that churchgoing remains strongest – and, in many cases, is increasing – in areas that surround oversubscribed faith schools.

To supporters of the system, it shows the extent to which good schools with a religious ethos act as a focal point for families with a shared belief.

But to sceptics, it merely illustrates what many have long suspected – that large numbers of parents conveniently find God when there is a chance of getting their children into a decent state school and saving themselves the cost of a private education. In short: get on your knees, avoid the fees.

Read here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wayne Grudem: Does ‘political’ involvement distract from the gospel? Part 2

March 14th, 2014 Jill Posted in Faith Comments Off

From The Christian Institute

Part 2
As Dr Grudem considers ways that Christians should influence government, he discusses five wrong views and one right one. Here he examines the second wrong view – ‘Exclude religion from government’.
Part 1: The first wrong view – ‘Government should compel religion’
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Sorry, campaining mums – it’s faith that makes faith schools work

March 10th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Education, Faith Comments Off

By Toby Young, Spectator

An email popped into my inbox on Tuesday morning urging me to join a ‘fair admissions campaign’ that’s been launched by a couple of mums in Shepherd’s Bush. Their children are at a local primary school and they’re angry that they won’t be able to get them into any of the local faith schools. ‘Two of our children are in Year Five and we feel offended by the fact that out of 11 secondary schools in the borough almost half will put them at the very bottom of the waiting list due to our “wrong” beliefs,’ they write.

Now, I’m probably among the dozen or so local residents least likely to join this campaign but, to be fair, I don’t think they singled me out. Rather, they sent the same email to hundreds of people, hoping to cash in on the fact that Tuesday was ‘National Offer Day’, the day when parents who’ve applied to state secondaries learn their children’s fate.

I have some sympathy for these women. One of the reasons I helped set up the West London Free School is because I, too, was unhappy about the quality of education being offered by the local secular comprehensives. But that was five years ago. There are three new secondary schools in the borough now — two of them free schools — and the old ones have got better. For instance, the percentage of children getting five A–Cs in their GCSEs including English and maths at Fulham Cross Girls’ School was 48 per cent in 2008, compared to 69 per cent in 2013. The gap in quality between local comprehensives and local faith schools is closing.

However, I’m afraid that’s where my sympathy ends. What parents who complain about being excluded from faith schools don’t understand is that the reason they’re above average — which is why they want to send their children to them in the first place — is precisely because of their religious ethos.

Read here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Lib Dem minister backs secular marriage

March 10th, 2014 Jill Posted in Faith, Marriage Comments Off

Simon Hughes MPby Matthew Holehouse, Telegraph

The traditional Christian wedding ceremony should have no legal status under a shake-up of marriage laws, the Justice Minister has said.

Couples who want to wed in Church would have to undertake two separate ceremonies in order for their marriage to be recognised by the state, under proposals suggested Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat justice minister.

The French-style reforms would see couples undergo one secular, state-recognised ceremony, before exchanging religious vows if they wish.

But any bid to overturn centuries of legal precedent by stripping church or synagogue weddings of their legal status is likely to be fiercely opposed by clergy as an attempt to marginalise religion.

The suggestion follows a landmark Supreme Court ruling that decreed the Church of Scientology has the right to conduct weddings because it is a legitimate “place of meeting for religious worship”. Critics say the organisation is a dangerous cult.

Read here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Oscars: Conservatives Mock Hollywood After Matthew McConaughey’s ‘God’ Speech

March 4th, 2014 Jill Posted in Faith, Media Comments Off

By Paul Bond,  Hollywood Reporter

Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and others tease celebrities who are "confused" when the actor thanks God after winning best actor for his performance in "Dallas Buyers Club."

Matthew McConaughey’s best-actor acceptance speech invoking God and family might have garnered a lukewarm reception from his celebrity colleagues at the Oscars on Sunday night, but it was getting lots of positive attention from conservative media figures, including Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, who used the moment to insinuate that Hollywood is anti-religion.

“First off, I want to thank God because that’s who I look up to. He’s graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand,” McConaughey said after winning for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club.

Limbaugh said during his syndicated radio show Monday that the celebrities at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood for the 86th Academy Awards were “confused” by McConaughey’s acceptance speech.

After playing some of the audio, Limbaugh joked that “maybe three people” in the audience reacted positively when McConaughey thanked God. “That was the only time that they didn’t quite know what to do. That was it,” Limbaugh said.

Read here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

We Neglect Religious Education At Our Peril

March 1st, 2014 Jill Posted in Education, Faith Comments Off

By Nick Morrison, Forbes

Religious education is in crisis. The subject is increasingly marginalized, unloved and taught by non-specialists – at a time when teaching about religion has never been more important. The result is we risk creating a vacuum that spells danger for all of us.

Many of the most divisive issues we face today are coated in religion, whether it is those that divide a community, such as abortion or gay marriage, or those that give rise to conflicts between societies. If ever there has been a time when an understanding of belief and the role it plays in people’s lives is important it is now.

And yet we seem content to let it wither, caught between a worry it could be seen as indoctrination and a suspicion that it is an anachronism in a scientific age.

In the U.K., the government has scrapped grants for trainee religious education teachers, at a time when one fifth of places are already unfilled. Although the subject is compulsory up to 16, it is more likely to be taught by non-specialists than any other and its exclusion from the core that count towards school rankings ensures it will be marginalized.

Arguably, the situation in the U.S. is just as debilitating. The constitutional separation of church and state dogs arguments over religious education in public schools, with the result that many parents look elsewhere, to Sunday schools and the like.

It is not as if the aspiration isn’t there. A report by the Religious Education Council of England and Wales, which brings together professional associations and different faith communities, included the intention to equip children with “the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews”, so they can examine how individuals and communities can live together.

Read here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Study reveals teens’ views on faith and RE

February 5th, 2014 Jill Posted in Education, Faith Comments Off


The wide-ranging Youth on Religion project has given us a number of insights into teenagers’ views on faith, including their concerns about the content and delivery of religious education. Professor Nicola Madge explains.

Young people in multi-faith areas favour multi-faith over single-faith schools. They also value religious education but want to see changes in its content and delivery.

New research findings from the Youth On Religion (YOR) study, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council’s Religion and Society programme, are based on a survey of more than 10,000 13 to 17-year-olds and interviews with around 160 17 to 18-year-olds.

The research was carried out in three multi-faith locations – the London boroughs of Hillingdon and Newham, and Bradford in Yorkshire. Participants came from a range of faith backgrounds and included Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and those with no specific faith.

A central message from the research is that 6th-formers have a high level of respect and tolerance for peers from different backgrounds.

Most stress how multi-faith schooling, providing opportunities to get to know other pupils with a range of faith values, is good preparation for later life, including going to university. Mixing at school or college also encourages an interest in diversity and helps to reduce prejudice.

Multi-faith schools do not, however, provide any guarantee of integration. Reports of religious and cultural groups clustering together, and clear indications that pupils are particularly likely to choose best friends from similar faith and cultural backgrounds, emerged from the study.

Nonetheless serious clashes between faith groups at school or college seemed rare. Arguments and name-calling were reported but did not appear to be predominantly about religious values, even if religious labels were used as forms of abuse.

Read here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Stevie Wonder, Oprah and iPhones oust Jesus as topics of discussion at traditional Christian school assemblies

February 2nd, 2014 Jill Posted in Education, Faith Comments Off

By Jonathan Petre, Mailonline

A growing number of schools are ditching traditional Christian assemblies in favour of reflections on topics such as iPhones, Oprah Winfrey and Stevie Wonder, a Mail on Sunday investigation has found.

Up to 270 primary and secondary schools have been allowed to opt out of the legal requirement to provide a daily act of ‘broadly Christian’ collective worship – up from about 230 five years ago.

Documents obtained from local authorities under Freedom of Information (FOI) laws show that one secondary school, Acton High School in Ealing, included the ‘birth of the iPhone’, to highlight ‘communications’.

Traditionalists attacked the trend for robbing children of their understanding of a vital element of Britain’s heritage.

Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, said: ‘It is the birthright of children in this country to become familiar with its identity – including its religious identity – which is, broadly speaking, Christian.

Moving from the nativity of Christ to the nativity of the iPhone shows the extent to which assemblies have become degraded.’

But Acton High School head Andy Sievewright said only a quarter of his pupils were from a Christian background, so the school did not have ‘a specifically Christian focus’.

Read here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Does religion count at the ballot box?

January 27th, 2014 Jill Posted in Faith, Politics Comments Off


New research published by Theos examines the relationship between religious belief and voting behaviour. The Voters and Values report analysed surveys from 1959-2012 to show that how people identify their religious belief, as well as how frequently they attend services, is a significant factor in showing how they are likely to vote.
Anglicans are more likely to vote Conservative, and the more frequently they attend church, the more likely they are to vote that way. Catholic voters, however, favour the Labour party and in this case there is no discernible difference between those who attend and those who do not. Other Christian groups, the only further breakdown most of the statistics allowed, were more fluid in their voting habits, although they did show a noticeable association with support for the Liberal Democrats (and its predecessor parties).
Among other religious groups Muslims favoured Labour, Jewish voters preferred the Conservative, Hindus traditionally backed Labour but were more evenly split in 2010, as are Sikhs throughout the period investigated. The Buddhist vote was inclined to go to the Liberal Democrats.
Read here
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

We have more to fear from religious state orthodoxy than a biblically-illiterate Ukip councillor

January 19th, 2014 Jill Posted in Faith, Politics Comments Off

From Cranmer

A Ukip councillor from Henley-on-Thames has written to his local newspaper claiming that the current deluge of tempest and floods aflicting the United Kingdom are "divine retribution for the government's decision to legalise gay marriage". The subsequent outpouring of incredulity, condemnation and scorn has been rather disproportionate to the man's political (or religious) significance, except to say that elections to the European Parliament are fast approaching, and Ukip are widely tipped push the Conservative Party into a humiliating third place, if not win outright. Ergo, the merest unorthodox utterance by the lowliest of Nigel Farage's rabble army will be tend to be whipped up into a storm of shame and embarrassment.

David Silvester had been a life-long Tory (he is still named on Henley Conservatives' website as a branch treasurer). He defected to Ukip when David Cameron changed the natural-law (and dictionary) definition of marriage to embrace homosexual partnerships, thereby riding roughshod over millennia of Judæo-Christian orthodoxy (not to mention, Islamic, Hindu and Sikh beliefs on the primacy of the procreative potential of sexual union). The consequence of this, according to Mr Silvester, are storms, floods and other climactic judgments, which are God's warning about national rebellion, idolatry and apostasy.

The full letter is worth reading, not least because Mr Silvester expounds his belief and sets it in some sociological context, including the Queen's Coronation Oath. It is theologically naive and evidences spiritual immaturity, but the Bible exhorts us to nurture milk-drinkers onto meat (1 Cor 3:2), notwithstanding that some are patently unable to digest it.

Read here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Girls being forced to choose between God and the Brownies, Church leaders warned

January 17th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Faith Comments Off

by John Bingham, Telegraph

Church of England general Synod to debate whether imposing a single Girl Guide promise, without reference to God, is allowing ‘rank discrimination’ against Christians on Church premises

Young girls are being forced to choose between God and the Brownies, the Church of England’s ruling body has been told.

The decision to drop references to God from the movement’s traditional pledge of allegiance and expel anyone who refuses to adopt the new version, amounts to “rank discrimination” against Christians, Muslims and followers of other faiths – often taking place inside church halls, according to opponents.

The attack on the new oath, which came into force in September, is contained in papers being sent to almost 500 members of the Church’s decision-making General Synod which meets in London next month.

Instead of promising to “do my best, to love my God” members of the Guides and Brownies now pledge to “be true to myself and develop my beliefs”.

The Scouts also recently introduced a new secular pledge to enable atheists to become full members but retain the traditional wording for those who wish to use it.

By contrast Girlguiding UK has been made clear that only the secular promise is valid.

Read here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button