No child should be coerced into any adult religious beliefs. It is deemed as child abuse, as there is no proof to suggest there are gods.
Carl, from NORTH LONDON
I have always felt that compulsory worship was a deeply disturbing concept in the first place. Having it as a mandatory activity for school children is fundamentally wrong. I regard it as sinister and a form of abuse. I support this campaign whole heartedly.
Matthew, from EAST LONDON
I was raised Roman Catholic but went to a non-religious school. Looking back, I can't believe we had prayers, religious hymns, self-proclaimed preachers allowed access to children to spread their faith (probably not CRB checked either). Religion should be a private personal matter, no one has the right to brainwash and indoctrinate children into any faith, especially other peoples children.
Daniel, from WARRINGTON
Incomprehensible that in the 21st century, the UK still has this archaic law on compulsory Christian worship in schools. I am a practising Christian, but it is obviously not right to impose compulsory Christian worship in our schools. We need pupils of all religions and none to integrate. I went to a faith school, but they should certainly not have any place in our education system.
Peter, from READING
With a variety of religions and beliefs, or none, represented in schools, it can only be divisive to select one of them and expect pupils to follow its messages. Why not have inclusive, ethical, fun assemblies that bring children together?
Kate, from SOUTH LONDON
Modern Britain is a diverse pluralistic society. Something that we should be proud of. As a result of our diverse makeup, we support many communities of many faiths. Religion and faith are a personal matter, that can vary widely from family to family. As a result, compulsory acts of worship of any particular faith will inevitably marginalise some. Taxpayer funded schools have a place in helping to build bridges and understanding across communities and faiths by teaching comparative religion and secularism. Using taxpayer funding to enforce acts of worship of any faith is an unfair subsidy, liable to throw up barriers between pupils of differing faiths, and importantly rob children who are not of the chosen faith of a fundamental freedom. Schools primary duty is to educate, unless a school is entirely privately funded around one particular faith, acts of worship have no place in a modern pluralistic societies schooling. Any educational institution that relies on taxpayer funding should not be allowed to include acts of worship, as part of the curriculum. A limited exception could be made for demonstrations as part of comparative religious education. But this should be limited to occasional demonstrations, as part of building understanding between communities.
Sean, from CHESTER
Time for to be left in the past where it belongs.
Jack, from EAST LONDON
I went to a Catholic school in England. My children had some schooling in England and some in Scotland. I raised my own children free from religion, they have all been allowed to make their own minds up. All four are now adult and have not chosen to become religious. Compulsory worship was more difficult for one of my children, they were confused and as they got older, they became angry that they have been told that Christianity is true. I asked my children if they wished me to opt them out of this worship and explained how as a parent, I could discuss it with the school. All of my children were clear they didnt want to be singled out and bullied like the JW children that were exempt. I found my children didnt have all the opportunities of other due to many activities being interlinked with churches. For example, the school choir required kids to learn religious songs and attend and perform in church, this was not something my children were happy to do. The primary school my children attended did not have a large enough hall to host some larger events like leavers assemblies. These took place in the neighbouring Church of Scotland church and therefore everyone was subjected to being preached to. This particular school now attends the free church opposite the school. It concerns me deeply that this church holds some very homophobic and transphobic beliefs. In the UK we have freedom of religion, there should be no place for one religion to be forced on all.
Amanda, from INVERNESS
Currently looking at primary schools for our son to start in reception next year. We live in a rural area of North Yorkshire and are struggling to find a local primary school that doesn't do worship. We are agnostic and we do not believe we should have to have this struggle. All schools should teach ethical and non-prejudice thinking, but not via religion, as this can in fact be the source of conflict, much less teach peace and equality. We don't want our son to take part in worship or prayer, we want him to learn about the world and how to navigate himself within it. In 2021 this should be the norm. It is shocking that schools are still able to uphold such traditional values.
Cassie, from YORK
I used to work in a CofE school. The children were regularly evangelised to in Collective Worship. The school used it as the main vehicle to 'give every child a meaningful encounter with the person of Christ'. I was OK with teaching in a church school, but over the years it gradually changed and became more evangelical. The Church is dying, and they know that their only hope is to convince vulnerable young children that it is good to be a Christian. It's a bizarre, archaic law that most schools rightly ignore. It's time to realise that we're in a post-Christian country and the law on Collective Worship needs to go, children need fully inclusive time to come together, but worship has no part of that in 21st century Britain.