The Lord’s Prayer should be taught to children in the nation’s schools, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.
Dr Rowan Williams’ comment came as a survey revealed that today’s children are half as likely to know the Prayer compared to their counterparts in the 1970s.
Dr Williams, who is due to step down later this year, said: “I don’t think it’s too difficult to introduce children to this and introduce it in plain language and say not ‘You’ve got to pray this,’ but this is something that’s really, really important to lots and lots of people and can change their lives.”
He added: “I’d like to see schools introducing children to the Lord’s Prayer, so that they know that it’s there, they know what it means and know why it matters.
“Then they may make up their minds about whether they use it.”
The survey, which was carried out by BBC Newsround, surveyed over 1,000 children aged 6-12 and 1,000 adults who would have been that age 40 years ago.
While it found that children today are half as likely to know the text of the Lord’s Prayer, it also revealed that they are twice as likely to say that religion is important to them.
Last month a report by the Church of England warned that Church schools must robustly defend their Christian ethos amidst ‘concerted attacks’ from secularist campaigners.
The Church also stressed that its schools must retain their Christian character in an increasingly fragmented education system.
The report says: “Church schools continue to be popular with parents and to have good reputations and high standards.
“Nevertheless, there continues to be a concerted attack on the core elements of the Church school identity.
“Most of the challenges and claims made are without foundation or are matters of principle on which disagreement is always possible.”