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Charity slams council for loosening Christian assembly requirements

by Aaron James

According to the Daily Mirror, Brent Council is the first in Britain to exempt its schools from having to put on daily Christian assemblies.

Under current rules state-funded non-faith schools have to provide a service, time or event which is "wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character", however councils are able to provide exemptions if a special committee allows it.

A Brent Council committee which looks at religious education has done this for its schools.

It means schools in the borough can now provide multi-faith assemblies, or times of worship with no faith whatsoever.

Speaking on Premier's News Hour Tim Dieppe, from Christian Concern, said: "I think they've made a sad and wrong decision in this and I think that what they've done will not help social cohesion at all and it's a further step away from the Christianity which has underpinned the foundations of our society for many centuries.

"People in my generation for example, most of us know the Lord's Prayer off by heart just because we had it in our Christian assemblies day after day after day. That teaches you something of the forgiveness of God and the centrality of that in the Christian message."

A spokesman said: "Brent Council is delighted that the SACRE (Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education) in Brent has won this prestigious Accord award for inclusivity.

"The SACRE encourages all of its maintained local schools to give careful consideration to the religious affiliations of its students and their families and where appropriate, to apply for a determination to provide multi-faith collective worship.

"Brent is the most diverse borough in the UK and we are committed to promoting inclusivity and respect, ensuring that everyone who lives here is given the freedom to practice whichever religion they follow."

Listen to Premier's Aaron James speaking to Tim Dieppe on the News Hour:

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