Victory for Guides who want to keep ‘love God’ promise

A group of Girl Guides who want to continue using the longstanding pledge to “love my God” have had the threat of expulsion lifted.

The troop had been told to use the new promise to “be true to myself and develop my beliefs” or be removed from the national association.

But that threat has now been lifted from the 37th Newcastle Guide Unit, and discussions are continuing for a way forward.


Glynis Mackie, who has led the group for over 25 years, said: “We just think it’s fantastic that we have won our battle”.

The change to the promise – which removes reference to God and country – has previously faced criticism in the media and sparked 839 official complaints.

Unlike the Scouts – who have an alternative atheist promise but retain their traditional pledge – Girlguiding UK told members they could only use the new wording.


Mackie criticised the new Guides promise, saying: “Instead of becoming more inclusive, it is excluding people who do believe, and for whom the religious aspect is an important part.”

She also commented: “I am so pleased to have pushed and made a fuss over this, I was not going to let them close us down quietly.

“There have been many sleepless nights and tears shed. I feel completely churned up.

“I have given a huge part of my life to the Guide Association. I am very proud of my girls for supporting me in it.”


A Girlguiding spokesman said: “Girlguiding has suggested a way forward that does not change the wording of the Promise or compromise Girlguiding’s commitment to having one Promise for all girls.

“Discussions are continuing with the group.”

Last year Telegraph blogger Tim Stanley said the Guides’ changes “reflect the triumph of a crass kind of individualism”.

Writer and TV presenter Victoria Coren Mitchell has said the phrase “be true to myself” carries a suggestion of something “utterly individualistic”.

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