Letter: At troubled times like these we need God in our classrooms

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The Independent Online
From Dame Barbara Cartland Sir: It is absolutely appalling to me that the Archbishop of York should now try to upset the prayers I brought back into the state schools, which have already proved invaluable to children of broken homes.

I suddenly became aware that there were no religious prayers said in the state schools, as there had always been when I was young. I started to write to newspapers saying that I thought that prayers should be brought back. Finally, I wrote an article which was published by a newspaper and delivered to every Member of Parliament. I received nearly 400 letters in reply from members, all saying they had no idea prayers had been taken out of the state schools, although they had been out for seven years.

After that, both the House of Commons and the House of Lords voted for prayers in the assemblies and voted that Religious Education should also be given.

The Archbishop of York apparently does not understand that, in this country, one out of two marriages now fails and the children are pushed between father and mother with no feeling of security, which is most important to a child.

The result is that a large number of them take to drugs and are roaming the streets, stealing and causing a great deal of trouble to the police.

It is essential for every child to know from the very beginning what I learnt when I was young - that God is in His Heaven and if you pray to Him you will have a feeling of security. How anybody who has taken the vows of the church can deprive children at this moment, when things are so tense, of the knowledge of God is incomprehensible. The archbishop is doing immeasurable damage by making these sort of idiotic statements.

It seems to me that the sooner he resigns from the Church of England and we have priests who believe, as they always had in the old days, that God was in His Heaven and was there to help us, the better.

Yours faithfully, BARBARA CARTLAND Hatfield, Hertfordshire 6 January