New atheist scout promise welcomed by East Lancashire's religious and secular leaders (From Burnley and Pendle Citizen)
When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
New atheist scout promise welcomed by East Lancashire's religious and secular leaders
RELIGIOUS and secular leaders welcomed a new atheist promise for scouting, saying it was ‘great progress’ for the movement.
And the Dean of Blackburn said he was ‘encouraged by the approach’ of the organisation, which provides a variety of activities for 537,000 boys and men aged six to 25.
The move makes the UK’s Scout Association the fourth of 162 countries to be authorised to introduce the alternative promise.
Britain’s Scout Association leaders decided to introduce the new promise after a 10-month consultation with 15,000 members and non-members after concerns it was preventing people from diverse communities from joining.
However, unlike the new Girlguiding promise introduced last month, which entirely removed any reference to religion, the traditional Scout promise to ‘do my duty to God and to the Queen’ will remain the default mantra, while the new pledge will act as the alternative.
The new pledge will allow Scouts to ‘promise to do their best to uphold Scout values, to do their duty to the Queen, to help other people and to keep the Scout Law’.
East Lancashire Scouts spokesman Chris Taylor, who represents 74 Beavers, Cubs and Scouting groups in the region said: “While we have grown in numbers in the last year, we want to remain with the times and believe this move will increase our membership further.
“Robert Baden-Powell, who founded the movement, always said that what is most important about the promise is its ‘spirit’, which this new pledge has maintained. “ Lancashire Council of Mosques chairman Abdul Hamid Qureshi said: “There should be no barriers to joining for anyone, regardless of religion, so I am very glad they have taken this decision.”
The chairman of the Secular Humanists Ian Abbott said: “It doesn’t matter that the old pledge will remain in place, what matters is that those who may have felt excluded before will now feel comfortable joining.”
Dean of Blackburn Christopher Armstrong said: “I’m encouraged by the approach they have taken in giving an alternative while still maintaining the critical link to God.
“However, I think it’s important that this link is not removed altogether in the future as has happened within the Girlguiding movement.”
Comments are closed on this article.