The spirit of Christmas lives

24th December 2004 at 00:00
There are many findings in your report of the MORI poll on teachers'

religious beliefs that testify to the health of Christmas observance in schools ("Silent nights as carols are axed by schools", TES, December 17).

The fact that 83 per cent of primaries hold nativity plays and 74 per cent of secondaries hold carol services does not support the notion that Christmas has suddenly become the victim of political correctness.

However, the idea that catering for all faiths is achieved by catering for none is an insidious one that should be challenged. To claim that other faith communities are offended by the celebration of Christian festivals is precisely the opposite of what most faith communities actually say, so much so that I wonder if people using this excuse have ever bothered to find out what they do say.

Children growing up in an atmosphere where faith is respected as a vital and vigorous part of who we are, are more likely to respect those of other faiths and be able to espouse a faith for themselves.

The Reverend Canon JR Hall

Chief education officer

Education Division and National Society

Church House

Great Smith Street

London SW1

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