Thinking Anglicans

more on faith schools

Updated Thursday evening

Continuing the report from Monday:

Andrew Brown wrote on Comment is free taking issue with Simon Barrow, in Faith schools: is there really a better option?

Simon Barrow has now replied at Wardman Wire with Faithfully schooled for debate?

The Church of England Newspaper has published an editorial headlined Religious schools: open up or call time? That URL will only be valid for a week, but Ekklesia has reproduced the full text over here.

This mentions the Cantle report of 2001. You can find that as a PDF here. And the Church of England press release in response here.


Jonathan Romain also wrote at Comment is free under the title I’m for faith, not faith schools.

The Dean of Westminster, formerly the Church of England’s chief education officer, replied to him, see Schooling for tolerance.

And the Economist weighed in with Religious rights and wrongs.

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Doug Chaplin
15 years ago

For a whole range of reasons I’m not a particular fan of church schools as they currently exist. OTOH I think we need to note that Simon Barrow’s Ekklesia is fundamentally an anabaptist think-tank that is diametrically and ideologically opposed to an established church. When that anti-establishment ideology draws them into happy synergy with the rich and privileged atheist world of Polly Toynbee, I think we are at least entitled to ask questions. Not least, when we pick our allies, is the principle of separation of church and state more importnat than the truth of whether God exits?

15 years ago

No John Hall Rabbi Romaine is not tilting at windmills — he simply has a different view from yours ! Why so defensive ?

I had no idea the C of E stood for respect and diversity, I must say.

It must be news to all who have followed its shameful (and shameless) treatment of LGBT people, and of religious dissent.

15 years ago

This is fundamentally a social and political issue, not a religious one. I went to a bog-standard comp in the 1970s and 1980s and it was just as skewed to the social and educational needs of the middle-classes as much as ‘faith’ schools appear to be now. All good schools are oversubscribed (there being one near to me that is not a faith school but is very difficult for parents to get their children into). Vast swathes of ordinary people do in effect though sacrifice their children’s education to a facile and spurious elitism in this country. 5.2 million functionally… Read more »

Simon Barrow
15 years ago

Doug: Ekklesia believes in the church as discipleship community well ahead of tame ‘civic religion’, true. But as well as Anabaptist roots we have strong ecumenical ones. I’m an Anglican. Also, while we might agree with humanists on some things, we also agree with and work with evangelicals on others. What informs our contribution is a strong theological perspective and commitment to the integrity of Christian witness – which is undermined when Christians behave as a bossy, self serving club. On Canon John Hall’s piece. Factually, he is wrong about the European Convention on Human Rights (slightly worrying that the… Read more »

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