Joint call for changes to religious observance

January 25, 2014

The Church of Scotland and Humanist Society Scotland have called for legislation to be brought forward to change Religious Observance in schools to “Time for Reflection”  as a way of making these events more inclusive and clearly not gatherings where one faith or belief system is promoted over another.

Rev Sally Foster Fulton, convenor of the Church of Scotland Church and Society Council said;

“We welcome this exciting opportunity to collaborate with our humanist colleagues in supporting genuinely inclusive Time for Reflection in schools that supports the community and spiritual development of all pupils whatever their faith or belief. Scotland is a wonderfully diverse nation. Regular, inclusive Time for Reflection will enhance young people’s ability to celebrate difference rooted in respect”

A spokesperson for the Humanist Society Scotland said:

“We welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively with the Kirk. We urge the Public Petitions Committee to make strong recommendation for the change of Religious Observance to ‘Time for Reflection’. This removes the exclusivity of Religious Observance and brings about fairness and equality for all. If this change is made, it will bring current practices in-line with the modern demographic in Scotland.”  

They will make their joint submission as additional evidence to the petition committee of the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 28th January when there will be discussion the petition of the Scottish Secular Society (PEO 1487) to make Religious Observance opt in activity.  

They will ask the Public Petitions Committee to urge the Scottish Government bring forward legislative proposals to remove the reference to “Religious Observance” in the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 and insert “Time for Reflection” instead.

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