Keep the promise

    Around the Diocese
    28 January 2013

    Bishop Mike is encouraging churches and individuals in the diocese to respond to publicPrint

    consultations currently being undertaken by the Scout Association and Girlguiding UK.

    The two exercises, which are being run independently of each other, concern proposed changes to the promises new members make when joining the respective organisations.

    The Scouts’ consultation, which closes on January 31


    , asks some significant questions about how Scouting might look in the future as a value-based organisation. Specifically, it asks whether an alternative version of the Scout Promise should be developed for "atheists and those unable to make the existing commitment".

    Girlguiding UK’s consultation, which runs until March 3


    , questions the relevance of promises to serve God and the Queen, to modern members. On its website the organisation states, “We know it’s crucial that girls and young women understand and believe in the words they say.”

    The Church of England has launched a campaign entitled ‘Keeping the Promise’ to encourage participation in the consultations.

    A briefing paper has been produced

    setting out the background to the proposed changes and emphasising the strong links that exist between parishes and uniformed organisations. It also points out the Church of England’s specific role as a defender of faith in public life in this country.

    Bishop Mike said:

    “I really hope many of you, whether you have existing links with uniformed organisations or not, will take the opportunity to respond to these important consultations which are actually about something far wider than the wording of a promise. It seems to me that the outcome of these discussions will send a powerful message about the sort of society in which we want our young people to grow up – and surely that’s just the sort of discussion that, as Christians, we should be heavily involved in.”

    Download the ‘Keeping the Promise’ briefing paper here

    Access the online consultations as follows:

    The Scout Association

    Girlguiding UK