The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s ruling ‘cabinet’ is going to have to decide whether to over-rule a vote by its religious advisory committee – the so-called “SACRE” – to bar ‘non-believers’ from taking part in its proceedings.
‘SACRE’ is an acronym for the “Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education” and has representatives on it from the Church in Wales, Free Churches, the Bahâ’í Faith, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam (Muslims), Judaism and Sikhism and advises the Vale of Glamorgan Council on religious education in local schools.
The committee – set up under the UK Education Act of 1996 – has no representative on it of people who have no religious belief – even though 40% of the population of Wales declare themselves to be in that category .
It’s now emerged that “SACRE” members have voted against having a Humanist representative – Kathy Riddick – become a representative member of SACRE in the Vale of Glamorgan.
The minutes of the SACRE meeting say that Kathy Riddick’s application was discussed but that “Consensus could not be reached” and her application went to a vote . The vote (the numbers are not declared) went against her and her application was declined.
However that decision can’t be taken by SACRE in isolation and the move to keep the non-believers at bay has now to be ratified by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s ruling ‘cabinet’ .
PDN Note: The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s internal report defines Humanists as a movement which “trusts to the scientific method when it comes to understanding how the universe works and rejects the idea of the supernatural, makes their ethical decisions based on reason, empathy, and a concern for human beings and other sentient animals, believes that – in the absence of an afterlife and any discernible purpose to the universe – human beings can act to give their own lives meaning by seeking happiness in this life and helping others to do the same.”