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Our Father: half 6-12s can’t say it

03 April 2012

by Madeleine Davies



THE Lord’s Prayer should be taught more diligently in schools, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

Dr Williams was responding to a survey conducted by the BBC pro­gramme Newsround, which found that only 55 per cent of children aged between six and 12 knew the prayer. The majority (92 per cent) of adults who were in that age group 40 years ago said that they knew the prayer as a child. The research was conducted with 1000 children and 1000 adults to mark the 40th anniversary of the programme.

The survey also found that 43 per cent of children considered religion important to them, compared with 36 per cent of adults who said it was important to them as children.

Speaking to Newsround, Dr Williams said: “I’d like to see schools introducing children to the Lord’s Prayer, so that they know that it’s there, they know what it means, and know why it matters. Then they may make up their minds about whether they use it.”

The Archbishop also said that he would like to see “insiders” being brought in to schools to help teach religious education, “so that they can quite simply say ‘this is why it matters and this is how it matters.’”

Speaking on Sunday on BBC Radio 4 last week, Linda Woodhead, Professor of the Sociology of Religion at Lancaster University, was not surprised to learn that religion was deemed important by children.

“In lots of ways, I think the baby- boom generation were a blip in their reaction against religion,” she said.

Christians were “particularly bad” at handing on their faith, she argued, particularly when compared with Muslims, who offered Qur’an lessons after school, and took responsibility for religious education within fam­ilies.

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