STV News on joint statement from Humanist Society Scotland and the Kirk

The full statement released on Friday 25th January was:

The Church of Scotland and Humanist Society Scotland have called for legislation to be brought forward to change Religious Observance in schools to “Time for Reflection” as a way of making these events more inclusive and clearly not gatherings where one faith or belief system is promoted over another.

Reverend Sally Foster-Fulton, Convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland said: “We welcome this exciting opportunity to collaborate with our humanist colleagues in supporting genuinely inclusive Time for Reflection in schools that supports the community and spiritual development of all pupils whatever their faith or belief. Scotland is a wonderfully diverse nation. Regular, inclusive Time for Reflection will enhance young people’s ability to celebrate difference rooted in respect.”

Douglas McLellan, Chief Executive of the Humanist Society Scotland said: “We welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively with the Kirk. We urge the Public Petitions Committee to make strong recommendations for the change of Religious Observance to ‘Time for Reflection.’ This removes the religious exclusivity of the current system and brings about fairness and equality for all. If this change is made, it will bring current practices in-line with the modern demographic in Scotland.”

The Church of Scotland and the Humanist Society Scotland will make their joint submission as additional evidence to the Petition Committee of the Scottish Government on Tuesday, 28 January, when there will be discussion of the petition of the Scottish Secular Society (PE01487) to make Religious Observance an opt-in activity. They will ask the Public Petitions Committee to urge the Scottish Government bring forward legislative proposals to remove the reference to “Religious Observance” in the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 and insert “Time for Reflection” instead.

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