Education, Religious Liberty and the Law Seminar
7th June 2019
Educators, Religious Liberty leaders and law professionals came together for an important seminar which focused on the government's consultation referring to a proposed legislation relating to children not in school. The aims of the seminar which took place on Sunday 26 May 2019 at the Advent Centre were to:
Mobilise a response to the government's consultation.
Educate and inform attendees about the key provisions of these complex proposals and the potential implications for religious liberty.
Advise on Elective Home Education and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE): Parental Rights, Responsibilities and Emerging Policy Trends.
On hand to give advice and counsel on the issues at stake were the South England Conference (SEC) Education director and Headteacher of Hyland House School, Gina Abbequaye, Education Policy Officer for the Evangelical Alliance, Peter Mitchell, Head of Public Policy for the Evangelism Alliance, Simon McCrossan and retired pastor and director of the Advent Religio-Legal Perspective ministry, Dr Brighton G Kavaloh.
All speakers spoke on the potential implications the government consultation and proposed legislation could have on those who home school, Sabbath Schools and Pathfinders Clubs to name just a few. The consultation is about establishing a local authority registration system for children who do not attend state-funded or registered independent schools and as statistics show that Seventh-day Adventists have a higher proportion of home-schooled children compared to other religious organisations, the proposed legislation would have a direct effect on our religious liberty.
As the 24 June deadline to respond to the government proposal looms near, Dr Kavaloh cautioned attendees to be as 'wise as serpents and harmless as doves' in their approach to the matter. He implored that in these we should exercise wisdom and discretion and that we be measured and balanced in our response to the government consultation. He said, "There is a battle of the minds at stake here. The enemy of our souls tries everything he can to undermine God by interfering with His creation. But as we come to recognise the temper of the times and remain faithful to God, He has promised to be with us and bring us through."
Simon McCrossan and Peter Mitchell from the Evangelical Alliance encouraged attendees to do their research and respond to the consultation in an informed and intelligent way so that the religious liberty upon which the Church is built can be upheld and God be glorified through us as we take a stand for Him.
In her closing remarks, Gina Abbequaye said, "This is not our fight, it's the Lord's. The little effort we put in will pay dividends because when we take a stand for God, He will take a stand for us and do the rest."
For those who were unable to get to the seminar, there will be presentations on the issue at hand during SEC Camp Meeting held in Prestatyn, North Wales on 17-23 June.
For more information on the 'Children Not in School' Proposed Legislation ‒ Government Consultation please visit: www.adventrlp.com.
[Darell J Philip]