Saturday, April 23, 2011
'Are there any Christians left in the CofE?' Wave of anger after Bishop calls for faith schools to limit number of Anglican pupils
Kate Loveys reports:
Religious leaders yesterday poured scorn on Church of England proposals to limit the number of practising Anglicans admitted to faith schools.
The Bishop of Oxford has called for a major shake-up of admissions rules, saying policies which favour religious children should be changed even if this affects a school’s exam results.
The Right Reverend John Pritchard, who is also chairman of the CofE’s board of education, urged heads to reserve no more than 10 per cent of places for practising Anglicans.
But his plans stirred anger among other denominations and faiths, who described them as ‘nonsense’ and ‘depressing politically-correct drivel’ and pledged to ‘robustly fight’ their right to admit members of their own faith. They said the Church was being led by a ‘secularist agenda’ on the issue, with Conservative MP Stewart Jackson asking ‘are there any Christians left in the CofE?’
The Bishop’s suggestion even sparked a row within his own flock, with one vicar saying he was ‘incandescent’ with the ‘level of incompetence displayed by senior Church members’.