Faith Leaders in Sheffield Agree Charter for Education

27th November 2018

Let’s teach our children about each other...

On 20 November, faith leaders in Sheffield saw the launch of a new charter in a call for children to learn about a range of religions.

The Faith Leaders' Group in Sheffield includes leaders from various religions, including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism.

In recent months, it has agreed a charter of principles to guide the way children from different religions learn about and encounter other faiths.

The charter was launched at St Andrew’s Church, Psalter Lane.

Introducing the event Rev. Gareth Jones estimated at least six religions were gathered together, as well as a range of Christian churches.

Speaking at the launch, Bishop Pete Wilcox, the Bishop of Sheffield, said:

“I am delighted how easy it has been for faith leaders in Sheffield to draw up this strong and clear statement of good practice.”

“This statement sets out our shared expectations regarding both school visits to places of worship and visits to schools by faith-based volunteers. “

“This statement will provide reassurance to schools in general and head teachers in particular about the purpose and content of such visits.”

Bishop Tim Ellis, who has led the development of the charter commented:

'To understand who and what we are today we need to understand the profound effect that our religious histories have had, and have, on us and our society. The Charter represents a serious attempt to commend this shared experience to new generations.“

Abdool Gooljar, South Yorkshire President of the Islamic Society of Britain, described the charter’s purpose as “To promote pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and to prepare all pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of the present and the future.”

Huw Thomas, Diocesan Director of Education, drafted the statement and he commented:

“Our faith leaders are making it clear they want children of their religion to positively encounter the faiths of others”

“At a time when division and conflict seem to be on the rise, the joining together of faith leaders in this way is an important step”

“We are one city and community and learning about our different beliefs should bring us closer together.”

Faith Leaders of Sheffield: school visits and visitors agreed principles

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