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To refuse the offer of a bible from local church for dd to commemorate starting school?

(260 Posts)
Norfolkbumpkin Mon 15-Oct-12 15:01:42

I have just received a round robin email from the school where dd has just started in reception. It says that as per the last few years the local church will be giving each child a bible to commemorate starting school, and to advise the office if for any reason you do not wish for your child to have one. I have replied saying no thanks as feel rather uncomfortable with this, but is this normal practice? I know that the school follows the standard guidelines for R.E. etc, but I am aware that the deputy head (who teaches one of the reception classes) is very active in the local church. She runs bible lessons after school one afternoon a week, and the church have an active presence at the school by doing the gardening in the flower beds and odd maintenance jobs. Am I reading too much into the bible thing or is it a tad pushy?

QuintessentialShadows Mon 15-Oct-12 15:45:00

Free dictionaries are not to be expected when starting school. Who would sponsor these? The Church?? wooahh hah ha (evil cackle)

CrikeyOHare Mon 15-Oct-12 15:48:38

Calling the bible 'evil' is just silly though.

The Bible isn't evil, because there's no such thing as "evil". There are, however, many things that most decent people would consider morally reprehensible (for which we use the term "evil" as shorthand) - and the Bible is absolutely heaving with examples of this.

So - maybe it's not evil. But it's sick as fuck in parts.

noblegiraffe Mon 15-Oct-12 15:53:57

She'll no doubt get given another one in secondary school when the Gideon society come to visit so it's not like she's missing out.

x2boys Mon 15-Oct-12 16:02:52

i,m never sure of these things i,m a lapsed roman catholic but still have my beleifs, and my boys are both baptised roman catholic eldest attends a R.C. school youngest will start going next september. so obviously my oldest comes home with questions about jesus was given rosary beads ,but i expect that. i made a coinscious decision for my children to be baptised and go to a faith school, if your school is not a faith school and you dont have any beleifs then i would expect its unreasonable for a teacher to be imposing her beleifs on others

PumpkInDublic Mon 15-Oct-12 16:12:20

Noble, if my school was anything to go by the Gideon Bible was very popular, makes great rolling paper according to some of the students.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 15-Oct-12 16:16:30


Why would a church want to pay for children to have a dictionary!?

I'm not religious, but if I was and I gave a lot of my time to help a religious school, then I'd probably feel quite offended at the suggestion that dictionary's be given out instead.

You were given the option to decline a bible, not an invitation to offer other suggestions. It's a bible or nothing. If you want your child to have a nice dictionary for starting school, then you pay for it.

Norfolkbumpkin Mon 15-Oct-12 16:23:51

But it is not a religious school, not affiliated to any of the local churches. It's just a bog standard village school. I am of a pagan leaning and my husband is atheist. I am all ready to accept the odd bit of teaching about christianity as I understand this is part of the curriculum, and am ready with the 'this is what some people believe, but mummy and daddy believe something different' line, but I'm just uncomfortable with it already.

PumpkInDublic Mon 15-Oct-12 16:25:04

"Why would a church want to pay for children to have a dictionary!?"

Why should a school give out religious texts?

I believe the dictionary suggestion was more towards a suitable welcome gift than a suggestion it should be funded by the church.

designerbaby Mon 15-Oct-12 16:26:55


The local Church is offering you something which many would welcome, and have given you the option to refuse, as you have done, without much inconvenience as far as I can tell.

And as it's the Church making the offer of course it's going to be a bible, isn't it.hmm

Nothing stopping the local humanist society giving out Dawkins, or the local Mosque giving out the Koran. Both of which I might or might not refuse, but neither of which I would be offended or surprised at being offered. But they're not offering, which is surprising as both organisations are probably more aggressively evangelical than the CofE...

All a bit silly and hysterical IMHO.


cantspel Mon 15-Oct-12 16:27:53

What is the big deal? They asked and you said no so end of.

Some other parents will say yes and be grateful for it and others wont care either way.

expatinscotland Mon 15-Oct-12 16:28:37

My grandfather forced me to read the Bible as punishment. It was great, full of sex, violence, revenge and stories of lust.

Norfolkbumpkin Mon 15-Oct-12 16:30:50

ok, so general consensus is that IABU, thank you for your input. I shall look forward to many more years of reading too much into school memoes etc. Thank you for your input.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Mon 15-Oct-12 16:31:57

"Why would a church want to pay for children to have a dictionary!?"

Why should a school give out religious texts?

Because its a religious school! It's a school that will be partly funded by the church, and the bibles will be funded by the church because they want children to have them, not because children actually need a present to commemorate starting school.

I understand that there is a problem in that there aren't enough non religious schools to choose from, so parents often end up using one when they would prefer not to, but if you feel that strongly enough about it then move. Or home educate. Or set up a free school. Or just politely decline the offer of a bible and keep quiet.

BreconBeBuggered Mon 15-Oct-12 16:34:08

YANBU to refuse any offer you like, but it's a useful cultural reference book. Just don't let your DD read it until she's old enough.

BeauNeidel Mon 15-Oct-12 16:34:51

YANBU, I'd say no as well.

nagynolonger Mon 15-Oct-12 16:41:23

If it is a childrens bible it won't have any rapes or murders. If you don't believe it's just another story book.

Mine were all given childrens bibles at Sunday school and they enjoyed the stories. They were given copies of the new testiment at scondary school and again when they joined the Air Training Corps. We still have them all......unused! They are the DC and I will not throw them away.

I do agree that it's not up to a parent to suggest that the church donate a dictionary instead.

Fishwife1949 Mon 15-Oct-12 16:44:27

I would take it and just put it on the shelf at home got some good stories noah and all that whats the issue

lovebunny Mon 15-Oct-12 16:44:37

i love the bible! it has great stories - get an apocrypha too.
its full of love, sex, war, fear, joy - a talking ass, children eaten by bears, a woman who drives a tent-peg through the head of a nasty man, 'the young men of the east, handsome as young gods every one of them', global disaster due to climate change (what else would you call a world flood?), rapes, rules against having sex with animals, how to get mildew off your clothes (wash with vinegar) and more.

don't turn down a bible. one day it might be just what you need.

Norfolkbumpkin Mon 15-Oct-12 16:47:31

But Outraged, why is it a religious school? It isn't affiliated to a C of E or catholic church, or are all state infant/junior schools funded by the church? I'm confused. I thought they were government funded. I obviously am very confused here.

ZiggyPlayedGuitar Mon 15-Oct-12 16:49:11

Our local church gave all of use one when we started seniors. Most kids destroyed theirs though.
If you don't think you'll get any use out of it then I would say no thanks.

No point wasting the church's money

aufaniae Mon 15-Oct-12 16:50:22

All ordinary state schools have to provide worship of a Christian nature in the UK.

Some interpret this pretty loosely and are in effect non-religious. Some on the other hand are more Christian than some C of E schools!

aufaniae Mon 15-Oct-12 16:52:19

I would refuse it personally.

It's more about indoctrination than education at such a young age IMO.

CelineMcBean Mon 15-Oct-12 16:52:50

I can understand if a C of E or RC school but otherwise it seems very presumptive.

Anyhoo, you've been given the option to decline so I wouldn't stress too much. You'll have harvest festivals, christingle services and all other manner of religious indoctrination to manage during the school years. Develop a strategy to cope now or it could make you very cross.

ohthedandy Mon 15-Oct-12 16:53:01

YANBU to have refused it, but I don't think they are being "pushy". Pushy would be your dd arriving home with it without you having been asked!

I don't understand how the school isn't a church school, but "the church have an active presence............"

Faxthatpam Mon 15-Oct-12 16:55:30

YANBU. Fine to refuse. As I understand it you are saying it's NOT a religious school, so therefore it's an inappropriate gift IMO.

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