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Words that put the fear of God in me.

Byline: FIONA PHILLIPS

WHAT has been the scariest headline of the week so far? Boris Bounces Back? Uncivil War Could Split Labour For Ever? Carry On Corbyn? No. None of those. They were scary enough. But this is the scariest of all: Church of England is Planning To Open Scores of Free Schools.

That's right. The Church of England wants to cement its position as the largest provider of education in the UK and aims to take charge of a quarter of the UK's free schools.

In a statement to send shivers down your spine, the bishop of Ely, Stephen Conway said: "This is a moment to be bold and ambitious, and offer a Christian vision for education." No it is not! This must not become reality. Religion has no place in schools. Education is about learning and tolerance, preparing our kids to be openminded and to embrace their future. It is not - or should not be - the forced indoctrination of fairy tales.

Barely the UK to church regularly What's more, the expansion of the Church of England in the education sector will, in what is already an overcrowded market place, further narrow school choices for England in th sector will, in w an overcrow place, further n non-Church of England pupils. The premise is so wrong on all sorts of levels.

What justifi for the expans schools whe churches is a right do they What justification is there, for starters, for the expansion of Church of England schools when attendance at their churches is at an all-time low?

What right do they have to run a quarter of schools when barely 10% of the whole UK population regularly attends church?

In England, only 2.5% of us will still be attending church by 2025. And most of those, I reckon, will be attendees who discover the Lord only when they have children. They'll have suddenly taken to falling to their knees in an effort to befriend the local vicar and secure his/ her signature on the application form for a place at a Church of England school.

"Education, education, education" was the most oft-repeated phrase coined by Tony Blair, a Christian. His government welcomed Church of England proposals for a hundred extra church secondary schools because "they have a good record of delivering a high quality of education". As most selective schools do.

By the way, there was another scary headline this week. It was this: Church of England Apologises For Abuse At Children's Home.

Young, vulnerable girls in 'care' were drugged, locked up and physically and sexually abused during the 60s, 70s and 80s. All I'm saying is, religion doesn't guarantee standards. I'll leave it there.

Barely 10% of the UK goes to church regularly

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Title Annotation:Editorial; Opinion; Leading articles
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Article Type:Editorial
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 16, 2016
Words:462
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