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Church schools 'will serve the many, not just the few'

Nigel Genders, the CofE’s chief education officer, talks to Adi Bloom and defends the Church’s plan to open 125 free schools at a time when the nation is becoming increasingly secular

Ten years ago, Nigel Genders says, the consensus was that collective worship in schools was a bizarre anachronism.

Times, he believes, have changed.

“Ten years ago, people might have thought, ‘let’s get rid of it,’” the chief education officer for the Church of England says.

“Now I think people realise that, in the business of life, having time to pause and reflect is really important. And so the rise of collective worship – rather than the demise of it – is something that people are seeing as an important thing.”

In his role at the CofE, Genders is the head of the country’s second-biggest ...

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