The UK should be “promoting, celebrating and encouraging” Christian children’s work rather than restricting it, an MP has said in a Parliamentary debate.
Steve Double, Conservative MP for St Austell and Newquay, said children who attend Sunday schools or other Christian events are often inspired to help others as a result.
And challenging the Government over its proposals that could see Ofsted checking on church youth work, he said thousands of volunteers should not be tied up with “unwarranted bureaucracy”.
Speaking yesterday, Double argued: “We should be promoting the teaching of the Bible to our children, not seeking to restrict it, because the results of that produce an awful lot of good.”
The Government has proposed introducing a nationwide registration scheme for any out-of-school setting providing instruction to under 19-year-olds for more than six hours in any week.
Double, who worked for a church and ran his own business before becoming an MP, was speaking at a Westminster Hall debate where over 20 other MPs also spoke out against the plans.
Where are the Sunday school teachers who seek to inspire and incite young people to join terrorist organisations?
The head of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has said that if whistle-blowers raise concerns about registered settings, such as Sunday schools, inspectors will go in.
However, Prime Minister David Cameron has said he does not intend to cover Sunday schools and summer camps in the scheme.
Mr Cameron said that the Government has held “productive” discussions with the Church of England and other faith groups to make sure that the system will be “targeted” and “proportionate”.