Thursday 14 July 2016


I am into my second year on the Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education. I thought there was some irony when it was first suggested that I go onto this body, which has seven councillors amongst its thirty-one members.  Irony? Well, yes, because as a life-long atheist I am by definition not religious.

However, I have enjoyed the experience. Secularism is a vital part of the religious jigsaw insofar that it is an alternative to religion (I have yet to see a secular religion, whilst aware that secularism comes in many shapes and sizes).

I am grateful to one attendee at yesterday's meeting for using the word 'swizz' -  a joyous word that it has been some time since I heard last. It was an interesting meeting, and some good information sharing and debate ensued. It is clear that religious education is not being taught to all pupils (and I am aware that parents can exempt their progeny), and whatever your views about individual religions and non-religions it is clear that in a modern multicultural society we should all at least have some awareness of what people believe and celebrate.

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