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Scouts to retain promise to God

28 June 2013

PA

The Chief Scout, Bear Grylls (right), mingles with Scouts outside Westminster Abbey before the Royal wedding, in 2011

The Chief Scout, Bear Grylls (right), mingles with Scouts outside Westminster Abbey before the Royal wedding, in 2011

THE Scout Assocation will not follow Girlguiding UK in replacing its promise with one that removes reference to God (News, 21 June), but it may offer an alternative for those without a faith, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

The Scouts launched a consultation last year to address concerns about whether atheists could join ( News, 7 December). An online survey, which also explored the organisation's activity programmes, policies, and procedures, secured more than 15,000 responses; they are now being analysed by an independent organisation.

On Tuesday, a spokesman issued a statement: "We are looking at how we might offer a Promise option for those who have no affirmed faith. We do not plan to change the core Promise but to offer an option for those who are without faith but wish to be part the Scout Movement and are keen to support the Movement's values and developmental work with young people who are drawn from the widest range of cultures, belief systems and communities."

Last week, Girlguiding UK announced a new promise, which replaces the words "to love my God" with "to be true to myself and develop my beliefs".

Angela Tilby
Letter
Press

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