The Christian Institute

News Release

Christian integrity not a multi-faith fudge

As the “Religious Education Council” (REC) publishes an inconclusive report on school worship The Christian Institute today backed the present law on Christian assemblies in schools. Muslim, Catholic and Evangelical members of the reports’ working party are understood to have expressed objections about proposing multi-faith assemblies and dropping the daily requirement.

Colin Hart, Director of the Institute, said today:

“According to British Social Attitudes some 69% of parents back daily prayers in schools. Some 3.7% of the population adhere to a non-Christian faith, but they are not calling for multi-faith mish-mash assemblies. Parents do not want assemblies to be either secular or a confusing amalgam of faiths which destroy the integrity and coherence of each faith and deny young peoples’ access to the Christian faith, which is the principal religious tradition of this country.”

Guy Hordern, member of Birmingham Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education said today:

“The right approach is to make the existing law work. This is for the good of all our children. Collective worship has an indispensible part to play in promoting spiritual growth. In our tradition, it was never intended that young people should be given an education that is exclusively secular. It is clear that the overwhelming majority of parents want their children to have the opportunity to experience worship.”

John Burn, Principal of Emmanuel College, Gateshead, said today:

“The law can work. The Chief Inspector of Schools’ Annual Report shows that it is working well in 90% of primary schools. In secondary schools there is still some way to go but I feel the right approach is to encourage more secondary schools to make the act of worship more meaningful. The collective act of worship lies at the heart of spiritual education. I know that it can work where the will exists to make it work. Secularists in positions of leadership in education have no right to impose their minority views against the wishes of the vast majority of parents.”