Rowan Williams warns of downgrading of religious education
Rowan Williams: “It is about the worst possible moment to downgrade the status and professional excellence of religious education”
8 April 2012 Last updated at 21:29
Rowan Williams has warned against “downgrading” religious education in secondary schools in his last Easter sermon as Archbishop of Canterbury.
Younger people take religion seriously “when they have the chance to learn about it,” he said.
And Cardinal Keith O’Brien, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, urged Christians to wear a cross to symbolise their beliefs.
It comes amid a growing debate about secularisation in British society.
Meanwhile, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have attended traditional Easter Sunday service at Windsor Castle.
During the service at Canterbury Cathedral, Dr Williams said it was the wrong time to “downgrade the status and professional excellence” of religious education in schools.
RE is not one of the subjects counting towards the English Baccalaureate, the standard for ranking schools brought in by the coalition government.
The English Baccalaureate ranks secondary schools in England according to the number of pupils who get good GCSEs in English, maths, science, another language and a humanities subject – either geography or history.
Supporters of religious education want to see it included in the humanities category.