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Spiritual poverty in worship debate

Your recent coverage has confirmed that there is a lively debate to be had about collective worship in schools, and the Archbishop of Wales has put the positive case clearly ("Archbishop attacks law on daily worship opt-out", August 7).

However, much of the response to the Archbishop's piece, including your own editorial, betrays an alarming degree of spiritual poverty.

Education is essentially a spiritual experience insofar as it enables the accumulation of factual information and the acquisition of knowledge to facilitate growth in wisdom and an holistic appreciation of human flourishing.

Spiritual formation must be part of any educational programme worthy of the name, and whether through collective worship or some other means, a place for spirituality in education cannot be dismissed so lightly.

  • Rt Revd Dr John Saxbee, Bishop of Lincoln, chair, Church of England Board of Education

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