Baptists wangle their way into schools with “inflatable church”

An inflatable church — in effect, a church-shaped bouncy castle — owned by a Baptist congregation is touring North Yorkshire “to enable school pupils to experience prayer”.

The 20ft (6m) high church is being taken on tour by the New Life Baptist Church in Northallerton. Prayer workshops will be run for pupils at six primary schools and one secondary school.

It is the first time the church has used the inflatable on tour, and the response so far is said to be “excellent”. Assistant pastor, Barry Thompson, said: “It is a new experience, a different way of people interacting with the Christian faith.”

Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said: “Is there no end to these evangelising groups worming their way into schools, attempting to brainwash children? Do head teachers never say no? And are parents ever consulted about whether they are happy for their children to be manipulated in this way?”