This is one of those incredible stories that would have to go under the ‘If this is the best UK Anglicans can do, then it is time to put them out of their misery’ heading. It really is quite mind-blowing. It also has to fit in the ol’ ‘I don’t know if I should laugh or cry’ category.
It has to do with an Anglican school in the UK that appears to be about as Anglican as Hugh Hefner is celibate. Let me simply offer here what one newspaper account has stated about this:
“Hymns have been dropped from assemblies at a Church of England school which has also introduced separate prayer rooms for girls and boys to cater to its mostly Muslim students. Daily assemblies at Slough and Eton Church of England Business and Enterprise College, where 75 per cent of pupils are Muslim, are not based specifically on the Bible, but may make reference to it alongside other religious texts.
“All of the meat served at the secondary school, which has over 1,000 pupils aged between 11 and 19, is halal. Headmaster Paul McAteer said the approach was to be ‘sensitive to the fact that we do have many different faiths in the school’, but added that Christian values were ‘more prevalent here than I have experienced in non-Church of England schools’.
“Mr McAteer, who pointed out that the Church of England describes itself as ‘a faith for all faiths’, told the Sunday Times: ‘The values we support are very much Christian values of honesty, integrity, justice.’ According to the school’s prospectus its assemblies – which Mr McAteer said contain a ‘moral message’ – reflect humanitarian and spiritual issues ‘that concern everyone’….
“One of the school aims outlined on its mission statement is ‘to promote tolerance and respect for all cultures represented in the school’. The college was judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in May 2011 and it was awarded the same rating after a Church of England inspection the following month. Collective worship at the school is broadly Christian, and assemblies are based on Christian principles but are ‘designed to value and not exclude any other faith’, the prospectus states.”
I kid you not folks. An Anglican school with few Christian students, with no Christian hymns, with Muslim prayer rooms, with halal foods, and with assemblies dishing up “humanitarian” messages. Oh for heaven’s sake, stop the charade already. Just admit it – the game is up.
This is not a Christian school in any way, shape, or form. It is simply a cruel joke, and yet another mockery of a church in steep decline. Indeed, as soon as you hear those weasel words “tolerance” and “sensitivity” you know the jig is up.
It is too late; the horse has bolted. All we have now is an empty shell, utterly devoid of any Christian content. It is in fact guilty of false advertising: there is nothing Christian at all about this place. The place should immediately be renamed the ‘Slough and Eton Islamic Business and Enterprise College’.
I am sure such a Muslim school would be happy to keep taking in the handful of ‘Christian’ students, as long as they keep eating halal foods, pray in gender-separate rooms, and so on. Then things can go on as normal – but at least we would know what we are actually dealing with then.
As I said in the beginning, I really don’t know if I should laugh or cry here. And my other line is also worth repeating: If this is the best the UK Anglicans can do, then it really is time to put them out of their misery.