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Feb 02 2014

SusanWatch: School Assemblies Need Not be Religious

susan_hall_leaderIn an article in today’s Daily Mail, much noise is being made about school assemblies losing their (Christian-based) religious context. Indeed, in a borough as diverse as Harrow, widening the appeal of school assemblies, away from religion and focussing more on ethics and morals is surely a good thing?

The article says:

Colin Hart, director of the Christian Institute, said that in an attempt not to ‘upset anyone’, children were receiving an ‘appalling mishmash’ at assemblies.

He said: ‘You hear some of the things that children do in collective worship, such as I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles being sung in primary school, and you have to ask, where is the relevance?’

But councillor Susan Hall, leader of Harrow Council, said: ‘A school assembly can tackle ethical issues without religious context, and examples or issues from the everyday world can be used to make serious points about morality and society.’

We’re sure that even Cllr Husain Akhtar would find it difficult to disagree with Cllr Hall on this one…?

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9 comments

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  1. Melanie

    As the Jewish daughter of an immigrant, I am fed up with the fact that we are no longer proud to be a Christian country. Unless it’s a faith school, all State schools should be Christian. I attended a State run school and thoroughly enjoyed singing the hymns and all that went with it.The result is that I have a better understanding of Christianity and am proud to be a Jewish citizen in a Christian country that shows wonderful tolerance to all religions.

  2. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    As a former top British preparatory boarding school and top Public boarding school boy packed off at the tender age of only 7 years old I, personally, became ABSOLUTELY SICK TO DEATH AND FED UP TO THE BACK TEETH with being FORCED to attend Prayers, Chapel, Church, Assembley, Divinity lessons and all the rest of that boring rubbish that is of absolutely zero interest to a 7-17 year old boy! “And did those feet, in ancient times, walk upon England’s mountains green?” – No they bloody didn’t! Magnificat, Te Deum (we called it Tedium), Onward Christian Soldiers, Abide with Me, Book of Morning Prayer, Corpus Christie yawn yawn yawn boooooorrrrrrrrriiiiinnnng. So if the diverse religious mix in this borough has caused assembly to be religion-free then I’ll bet there’s tens of thousands of kids out there whooping for joy!

    Oh and by the way Melanie – Jesus teaches us not to be proud!

    If parents want to take their children with them to a place of worship then great, fine. Anyone can handle an hour if it’s once a week or now and again; but to ram Christianity down the throats of infants because we are allegedly a “Christian” country is draconian and not, I’m sure, what Jesus would have wanted!

    1. Melanie

      Willy, sweetie, whether you like it or not, this IS a Christian country. Actually, as you obviously don’t like it….don’t let the door hit you on the arse on your way out.

      1. Cllr Willy Stoodley

        Never said it wasn’t. Merely pointed out that’s no reason to force religion on children. Your turn.

        1. Melanie

          No thanks, you’re boring me now.

          1. Cllr Willy Stoodley

            Victory is apparently mine then!

  3. Edward Cochran on Facebook

    You are in the wrong political party Willy. You sound like a closet Tory with your public school background. Either that or new Labour. It’s so hard to tell you all apart these days.

  4. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    Well I’m a proud ILG member and proud to be the former union branch chair of Harrow Land Registry.

  5. Praxis Reform

    It’s funny how people often seem to conflate religion and culture…

    I find it fascinating to learn about other people’s traditions and the history of the places they came from – but compulsory wearing of hats, special underwear, rejecting modern technology, etc. etc.

    We only have to look to the numbers of people actually attending Church/Temple/Whatever, in order to see that most of the population of the UK are really atheists or agnostics that reject those sorts of bizarre and arbitrary rules.

    Anybody wanting to sing and pray is welcome to do it in their own time, so long as they aren’t using their religion as an excuse to collude against other people and get themselves unfair advantages.

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