Agenda item


-  Welcome to new Members and visitors


Apologies for absence were received from Reverend Rachel Archer, Daniel Coleman, Arvinder Nandra and Jared Nehra – LBB Director of Education.


The Chairman welcomed Councillor Kim Botting, Councillor Mike Botting, Councillor Pauline Tunnicliffe and Dorothy Lampert, representative of the Orthodox Jewish faith, to the meeting.


The Chairman reminded Members that a discussion had taken place at the last meeting regarding an approach from Humanists UK asking if Bromley SACRE would be willing to have a Humanist representative join the membership. The Chairman introduced Deborah Corcoran, representing a Humanist position, who had been invited to observe the meeting.


Ms Corcoran said she felt it was important that all beliefs were represented on the SACRE and that Religious Education was the area of the curriculum in which young people could explore identity, beliefs and values and it was crucial that children were able to learn about all religious and non-religious beliefs and worldviews. Humanists believe that in this one life they want to make the world a better place. The SACRE RE Adviser noted that the new Bromley Agreed Syllabus referred to both religions and non-religious worldviews as part of the curriculum. This had led to conversations taking place as to whether there was fair representation of other worldviews on the SACRE, and where any additional representation would sit within the Committee. Ms Corcoran said her understanding was that there was a human rights interpretation of religion as being inclusive of non-religious worldviews and therefore a Humanist representative could sit within the ‘other faiths’ group.


A Member considered that Ms Corcoran represented a body of belief and faith from a large section of the population. Young people should be learning about it in the same way that they learnt about other faiths, and therefore agreed that a Humanist representative should sit within the ‘other faiths’ group on the SACRE.


Another Member noted that it would be beneficial to hear Humanist views from Ms Corcoran but highlighted that the SACRE’s name referenced Religious Education and suggested that she should be invited to attend meetings as an observer.


A teacher representative said that their view of Religious Education was what they taught in the Bromley Agreed Syllabus. Humanism as an example of non-religious worldview could form part of this, and it was considered essential to have Humanist representation on the Bromley SACRE. The SACRE RE Adviser informed Members that in the United Kingdom it was recognised that the study of Religious Education included religious and non-religious worldviews, of which Humanism was one example. As this was included in the Agreed Syllabus, and the SACRE was responsible for writing it, representation of non-religious worldviews should be incorporated.


A Member said that he had no issue with a Humanist representative joining the SACRE but noted that there were a large number of other faiths. It was queried what the strategy or eligibility would be if the SACRE was approached by representatives from any other recognised belief systems or religions wishing to join. The SACRE RE Adviser said that reference was usually made to census information, recognising that particular religious groups were represented – however there were occasions where organisations had written to the SACRE asking to have representation. In general, it was based on the six world religions and often the inclusion of a non-religious worldview, for example Humanism. Humanists UK had written to Bromley SACRE asking to have representation as a reflection of the Bromley community having a Humanist population.


A vote was taken to appoint Ms Corcoran as a Humanist representative on the Bromley SACRE:


13 in favour

0 against

2 abstentions


RESOLVED that Ms Deborah Corcoran join the Bromley SACRE as a Humanist representative.