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Church of England

From Mono-religious to Multi-religious in England’s Schools

For centuries, education in England was provided by the Church of England and therefore included instruction in the Christian faith. The rapid growth of the urban population in the nineteenth century caused by the Industrial Revolution meant there were not enough schools. By 1850 only a third of the country’s children were receiving regular education. The Church and Voluntary societies built more schools, but a Board of Education was set up to provide additional schools from public funds. By 1882 school attendance became compulsory for children between the ages of five and ten. All schools had daily prayers and provided instruction in the Christian faith, although in state schools no ‘denominational teaching’ was allowed. A conscience clause permitted Jewish and other parents to remove children from such religious conditioning. Public or fee-paying schools also had a Christian ethos with daily chapel, divinity lessons, and often a clergyman as headmaster.

Learning to Appreciate Interfaith Marriage in the Church of England

“Will You Marry Us?”