Have more faith in public's faith

20th December 2002 at 00:00
Your report on Westminster education authority's decision not to proceed with the multi-faith secondary school proposal (TES, December 6), gives a misleading picture.

There were certainly differences of view as to how the school might be run and how the different faiths would work together. But there was no major disagreement between the faith groups involved. The main reason for the project not being adopted was that because of the costs and methods of operation, it would not be viable within the timescale. The suggestion that our plans have "collapsed", or that they have "foundered over the practical difficulties", are without foundation.

The result of the public consultation showed that nearly 50 per cent of the respondents were in favour of the idea. The concept of a school which gives pupils a secure grounding in the wisdom, customs and practices of the religious tradition to which they belong, and develops understanding and appreciation of other traditions, has touched the minds and hearts of many people.

Rt Reverend Richard Harries Bishop of Oxford, Rabbi Julia Neuberger The Multi-faith Secondary School Charitable Trust 13 Queen Square Bath

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