The Church and Life
Unlike many other religious beliefs, the Church of England does not just represent a religion as a single entity. It represents the values of a nation which helped to build it. The church is linked directly to the monarchy is ideally placed and qualified to teach the claims of religion within public life.
The vision of the church is not just to the individuals who are members of the faith, yet it encompasses every person within a community. Welcoming people of all backgrounds and all places is a moral code that can bring together a country which has become divided by classes and interests.
In the beginning, it was the care of the church that led to the rise of an “English” nation and gave the country a meaning of state by their teachings.
There have been studies which show the UK has around 50% of people who are non-believers.
Between the 1980’s and 2015, the actual proportion of Britons who identify themselves as Christian fell from 55% down to 43%, yet the numbers for non-Christian members multiplied dramatically.
In today’s society, children who are raised as “nones” in a non-religious household, it has been found continue to do so when they reach adulthood.
It has come to show, education plays a large part in this scenario as many “nones” have lower levels of degree-level of education than over previous years. The rise of atheism is shown to be in young white, male and more often than not, working class.
Historically it is the church’s Sunday school system that was the forerunner of the more modern schooling system. Attempts were made early on to provide secular education; the church resisted to these first attempts.
Sunday school at the time served 25% of the population and was devised to give an education to the poorer children who used to work in factories for six days per week.
From the early teachings of community values, the introduction of new schools that soon became to be known as “National Schools”.
Although the focus has changed in education and is now more in line with learning skills and gaining employment, the churches national schools have never lost their initial vision of providing both moral and spiritual education.
Through the assistance of the Church of England Education Office just under 5,000 schools, the teachings of “life in all its fullness” are broken down into four elements:
• Education for Knowledge, skills, and wisdom.
• Educating for hope and aspirations.
• Teaching dignity and respect
• Education for living well together, and community.
As we can see it is the Christian context that instills these characteristics in our children from an early age. Regardless of your child’s starting point or background. The church seeks to introduce and educate all aspects of the Christian faith.
Although Christian context governs the schools, it is not just religious beliefs where children excel. Every national school aims to give each child a high education, along with strong moral characteristics that will serve them in their future adult lives.