GIRL GUIDES will no longer pledge their loyalty to God and
country, it was announced on Wednesday.
The new promise, unveiled by Girlguiding, replaces the words "to
love my God" with "to be true to myself and develop my beliefs".
The pledge "to serve the Queen and my country" is replaced with "to
serve the Queen and my community". It will be effective from 1
The organisation hopes that the new wording will make it "truly
open to all girls and women", and "create a space where those of
all faiths and none can find a home".
The announcement comes after a consultation, begun earlier this
News, 11 January), which secured responses from 44,000 people.
A statement from the organisation said that respondents felt that
the pledge to love God "did not truly reflect the society we live
in, and many commented on the need to be open to all, and to
respect the beliefs of others, including those with no specific
"Spiritual development" would remain a goal of the organisation,
it said, and referred to "making your own spiritual choices,
respecting the spiritual choices of others, and achieving inner
The consultation had revealed a "strong commitment" to retain
service to the Queen in the promise. Her Majesty is patron of the
In December, the Scout Association undertook a consultation
about an alternative version of its promise "for potential members
who are atheists" (
News, 7 December). This consultation closed at the end of
January, but no decision has yet been made public.