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Friday, 21 June, 2002, 05:26 GMT 06:26 UK
Kirk urged to open own schools
General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
The Kirk has experienced a turbulent few months
The Church of Scotland should consider promoting its own denominational schools, according to an MSP.

Conservative Brian Monteith said although the Kirk may be nervous about such a move, it would have long term benefits.

Writing in the church's Life and Work magazine he said, "it could introduce pilot schools at primary level which could be evaluated by inspectors and parental demand".

He used England as an example of a society which provided faith-based schools without the "tribal warfare" that exists in Scotland.

Brian Monteith
Brian Monteith: "Pilot schools"

Where Muslim schools exist, the relationship between different ethnic groups is far more harmonious, the magazine said.

The magazine also described this year's General Assembly as "lacklustre" and stated the need for change.

The Church should "put the Kirk's business into 21st -century order", it also writes.

In recent months, the Church admitted urgent action was required to solve its significant financial difficulties.

It claimed the problem coupled with dwindling attendances could see the Church disappear within 50 years.

The Kirk also said it "regrets any part" it played in fanning the flames of sectarianism north of the border.

It recommended the creation of a group which would work alongside the Roman Catholic Justice and Peace Commission to combat bigotry in Scotland.

See also:

29 May 02 | Scotland
28 May 02 | Scotland
27 May 02 | Scotland
26 May 02 | Scotland
25 May 02 | Scotland
25 May 02 | Scotland
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