Girlguiding UK prepares to ditch God and the Queen from its Promise

Julie Bentley, the recently appointed head of the guides, has few fans among the fundies

Julie Bentley, the recently appointed head of the guides, has few fans among the fundies

HARDLY a week goes by without the dreadful Andrea  “Mini-cello” Williams sounding off about some outrage or other perpetrated by the godless against her precious Christianity.

Her latest bout of hand-wringing comes in the wake of an announcement that Girlguiding UK has launched a consultation that could lead to significant changes to the Promise Guides are expected to take when they join.

In what the Telegraph describes as “one of the most controversial shake-ups in its 102 year history”, the organisation may ditch any mention of God and the Queen from the Promise guides have to make.

Currently, Guides promise to do their best, love “my God”, serve “the Queen and country” and keep the Guide law.

The mention of God could be replaced with a promise to “search for the spiritual value in my life” or “serve the highest truth and love faithfully at all times”.

It would be the first major reform for the Guides, which boasts more than half a million members, to be initiated under Julie Bentley, its new Chief Executive.

The former head of The Family Planning Association who took over in November ruffled feathers when she described the Guides as:

The ultimate feminist organisation.

Bentley spent five years campaigning to change abortion laws in Northern Ireland, resisting opposition to the UK’s 24-week termination deadline, and pressing for mandatory sex education in schools.

When she was appointed to head Girlguiding UK a collective shudder ran through many religious bodies, which lined up to declare that “this sex-peddling liberal would destroy innocent girlhood and turn a treasured institution into a hotbed of promiscuity.”

Mike Judge, of the Christian Institute, said:

The Girl Guides is an organisation which should protect girls from these sorts of pressures.

And Jill Kirby, a social policy author, declared:

One of the reasons why girls want to join the Guides…is that they can escape from sex and television culture.I would have hoped that anyone leading the Guides would understand that. I don’t believe Ms Bentley does.

In a statement, the organisation said:

The Promise is guiding’s beating heart – it is the core expression of values and the common standard that brings everyone in guiding together. Over the past few years we have heard from more and more girls and leaders who struggle with the wording, particularly in interpreting what it really means to girls today.

It added:

Girlguiding UK is committed to retaining a Promise that is in line with its original principles, but we know it is crucial that girls and young women understand and believe in the words they say.

The consultation, which closes in March and is open to non-members as well as members of the organisation, offers a range of alternatives.

Alternatives to the reference to the Queen include “be useful to my country” and “engage myself with responsibility in the community I live in”.

Bentley said:

We know from listening to our members that some people do find some parts of the oath challenging and when members do make that oath we want them to mean and believe it.

Andrea Williams

Andrea Williams

On learning of the consultation, Williams from Christian Concern said:

I think it is a great sadness when you lose that ethos, you lose what you believe in and the organisation ends up meaning nothing.

Last month, the Scout Association announced it had also launched a consultation to see if its members would support an alternative Scout Promise for atheists, who are unwilling to pledge a “duty to God”.

And last year the Girl Guides in Australia dropped their allegiance to both God and the Queen, agreeing to serve their community and be true to themselves instead.

The Guides’ consultation will close on March 3.


30 responses to “Girlguiding UK prepares to ditch God and the Queen from its Promise”

  1. RabbitOnAStick says:

    It looks to me like the christinas do not have a badge culture just a bad culture.

    why would should little girls in 2013 have to ‘swear’ alliance to a nonsensical nothingness. The rules of the Guides can be adequately accommodated not to have any spiritual clap trap let alone anything about gawd.

    [“search for the spiritual value in my life” it doesn’t need this.Isn’t this pretty meaningless. It is not easily defined. Unless that definition is subjective which renders it meaningless].

  2. Angela_K says:

    Quote, Andrea Bigot-Williams: “….the organisation ends up meaning nothing”

    How insulting and disingenuous to those who are or have been Guides. The Girl Guides is a worthy organisation in spite of religion not because of it; many girls have learned some excellent life skills by being members.

    The Daily Mail ran this story with the usual christo-fascists predicting the downfall of civilisation

  3. AgentCormac says:


    I would add to your comment that when they Willaims says “…it is a great sadness when you lose that ethos, you lose what you believe in…” what she really means is that in her opinion it is a sadness when others ditch her ethos and turn their back on what she believes in. Typical bloody xtian – thinks everybody should be as brainwashed as she is.

  4. Alistair says:

    Claims that Girlguiding is a Christian organisation are wrong. In the document of FAQs which supports the Girlguiding consultation on the promise (at it states:

    Q. Is Girlguiding UK no longer a Christian organisation?

    A. Girlguiding UK has always been open to girls of all faiths and none – we have never been a Christian organisation.

  5. barriejohn says:

    We’ve been here before recently. It’s not an oath, it’s a promise, but children should not be coerced into making such pledges anyway. My friend’s mother was born in 1908, when the Temperance Movement was in full swing. (If you see old Edwardian photos of street processions with banners and brass bands, and there is a preponderance of women and children in attendance, ten to one it’s a Temperance March, which fools many people. They were extremely popular.) My friend’s mother attended the Methodist Central Hall in Swindon, and, like many others, was taught all about “the evils of drink”, and “took the pledge” as a girl. She never touched alcohol until her death at 96 years of age. As the family were staunch Anglicans, and very religious, this was no great sacrifice for her, but it is not fair that chidren should be encouraged to make promises that they might later regret having made. Christian sects, in particular, know what power they can gain over the young in this way.

  6. Broga says:

    I wonder how anyone can “love” God? What are the mechanics of loving a non existent being? As for serving the Queen I don’t know how they would do that or why? This wealthy woman is infamous for the low pay she hands out to her serfs while handing a mansion to her sprogs and larding them with unearned honours. Maybe the girl guides could serve her by working for free? I think she and her family are enthusiasts about the honour of working for them.

  7. stargraves says:

    Phwoar = that Milf Williams can come and rant crazily at me any time.

  8. JohnMWhite says:

    Interesting that Jill Kirby thinks that not forcing members to pledge themselves to authority figures they may not believe in or feel are worthy of respect because of who they were born is in some way an attempt to foist “sex and television culture” on young girls. I can’t help but think there’s something a bit unseemly about this immediate jump from religious and political neutrality to “omg sex!!” As ever, she betrays her real fear that without subjugating themselves to god, these girls will go wild, and that wildness will manifest in the scariest manner imaginable: sexuality. Not that it’s even remotely connected in the real world, but if Girl Guides were to somehow become more sexually expressive because of their oath, better that than they feel forced to hide who they are for constant fear of judgement from unrelenting bullies and their enablers like Jill Kirby.

  9. Daz says:

    How on Earth is it useful to the church to have children make a pro-forma pledge which doesn’t signify actual belief, but merely gives the outward appearance of it?

    Silly question. Just like the Catholic church’s recent policy of making it extra-difficult to officially leave the church, it provides inflated numbers making them look more popular than they really are. Bums on pews, or the impression thereof, is what counts, not actual “saved souls.”

  10. barriejohn says:

    Daz: See my comment above. It gets them hooked!

  11. Stonyground says:

    I used to be involved in several karate clubs, more than twenty years ago now. We didn’t bother swearing oaths of loyalty to our club, we just got on with learning our karate. I suspect that this is the case with other sports clubs, cycling or football for instance. I’m not sure if this is completely relevant but is just an observation.

    I love to hear the sound of bleating when the sheep have another one of their unearned privilages taken away.

  12. Matt Westwood says:

    Waah, it’s that picture again, it gives me nightmares …

  13. Tom80 says:

    Not too bothered about the removal of the promise to serve God from the pledge but I would hate to see the “serve Queen and Country” part removed. I understand the most “qualified” scouts and guides are known as “Queens scouts/gudes”. This country(UK) has a monarchy and I see nothing wrong in asking young people to serve their Queen and Country. I understand in schools in the USA they pledge an oath of allegiance to the flag. Perhaps it would be good to remind people that service to Queen and country is a good thing and beneficial to society in general,after all it has served us well in the past.

  14. Tom80 says:

    Quick question: Why has the Capta code been dropped, surely it made the site more secure?

  15. Daz says:

    Tom, it was removed a while back when a problem, with folks not being able to comment for some technical reason, was fixed. I assume the two are connected.

  16. Broga says:

    @Tom80: Why serve an unelected head of state with her son, of no very obvious distinction, lining himself up to take over to preserve the unearned and undeserved privilges of this one family? You might as well say that David Beckham’s son will be chosen to play for England regardless of ability. The UK has subjects, the USA and many other countries have citizens. The entirely imaginary virtues of the Queen and her family are foisted on us by the BBC Royal Reporter i.e. propagandist, paid for by license fees.

    The major role of the Queen is to underpin a rotten and corrupt class system including 26 unelected bishops in the House of Lords. Also Charles certainly, and probably the Queen, has ideas so dotty that his interfering letters to government ministers have to be kept secret. No thanks.

  17. Matt Westwood says:

    “Also Charles certainly, and probably the Queen, has ideas so dotty that his interfering letters to government ministers have to be kept secret.”

    You never know, they might contain stuff that’s just politically dangerous, like: “Why don’t we just legalise all drugs? Then there’s a whole rotten stratum of society cleaned up in a single stroke.” Or: “About time we got rid of the House of Lords.” Or: “I suggest we raise income tax for the disgustingly wealthy to 90%, renationalised the railways and increased public funding.” No wonder they’d have to keep them secret.

  18. Stephen Mynett says:

    DNA analysis is a wonderful thing. A couple of years back some bones of the Romanov family were released by the Kremlin for testing. The results were that the disease/condition of young Nicholas was Factor IX defeciency, otherwise known as Christmas disease or haemophilia B, a hereditary condition going back to Victoria. As a standard haemophiliac (Factor VIII defeciency)I have had a few problems but at least I now know that I am not that closely related related to a bunch of parasitic retards. That is a great relief.

  19. Marky Mark says:

    Is the history of the British Royal family similar to other royal families where their ancestors proclaimed they were appointed by the gods and should always lead…and have all the money as well?? And this wealth and power should always be passed down to their offspring as the gods want this, no matter how crazy they may turn out to be.

  20. barriejohn says:

    I am not the only one who has a very strong suspicion that members of our “royal family” believe that they are the actual descendants of King David:

  21. RabbitOnAStick says:

    don’t worry about the house of lords being able to do anything. Since 1911 they have been made impotent and cannot do anything regarding law.
    you should worry about the so called elected mob running the country. those idiots cannot even get their expenses forms filled out correctly. The bunch of thieving liars.

    what you all really really ought to be worried about is the laws (made, drafted, decided and passed by a bunch of civil servants and ministers) called Orders in Council. OIC. These are not passed through any real debate, discussion or analysis. they are simple “so called small” laws passed by their thousands each year in the name of the queen and made into law. They affect every facet of our lives. they have no effective method of control before their incorporation into law. they are passed by ministers signing them off almost willy nilly made by civil servants who are professional draughtsmen without reference to anyone of us, and little or never seen or understood by the wider population.
    even hitler had a less dictatorial legal system.

  22. RabbitOnAStick says:

    GMR thanks. I never read the daily nazi.
    The hol can do nothing against a bill travelling through the commons. when it passes to them, true indeed, they debate, they flap their chops they make suggestions they argue, but in the end the 1911 Act means it’s pretty meaningless.they may have the concept of preventing law by all of their debate etc , but reality is they cannot. It is the commons and the commons alone that has the ability to make law save what i mention about OIC. [and i didn’t start on the EU and all their cr*p].

  23. Broga says:

    The divinity of the royals. I still remember watching a Queen’s message to the subjects, something I haven’t done for years, when this silly woman said she thought “religion” was the answer to the troubles of the world. This lot really have a cushy number. The shaft the rest of us mercilessly, swan into Sandhurst for Harry boy, William with his geography degree gets to fly helicopters and Andrew seems seems to spend vast sums of public money getting to golf tournaments.

    Regarding William, the world’s greatest helicopter pilot, I can tell you that ordinary people need an excellent science degree to get a sniff of training to be a pilot. Plus an eye watering number of other tests, of great complexity, to pass. My own son flys jets and I know what he needed.

  24. barriejohn says:

    Broga: I have seen genealogies tracing Brenda’s lineage right back to Jonathan’s lover, King David. I can’t locate one on the net just now, but I did come across this load of bollocks (scroll down):

    King David and his descendants are significant because God promises that the Kingdom of Israel will always be ruled by David and his descendants, Roth says.

    “Every royal house of Europe claims its right to be royal by mere fact of being a descendant of the House of David Roth says.

    The English royal family, the Windsor’s now ruling England, have a rock from the Temple Mount under their coronation seat to emphasize that link, Roth says.

    Through history, civilizations rose and fell, yet the Jewish people survived. Now we are back in our country in Israel and Israel is still being persecuted. We are still being told we have no right to be here, Roth says.

    Israel is not just a state, its a royal house. King David bought the Temple Mount. His first kingdom was in Hebron for seven years. We are the true inheritors of the royal crown,’ Roth says.

  25. barriejohn says:

    Susan Roth also seems to be behind this website:

  26. The Woggler says:

    One of the reasons the royals are given special privileges as members of the armed forces is that they require experience as potential heads of the armed forces. Yet, strangely, they are not required to serve time as members of the clergy in order that they can fulfill their role as potential head of the church of England.

    The real reason is that their passion for flying helicopters and shooting guns is indulged.

  27. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: Wonderful, quite, quite wonderful. Any document like that, clearly ancient, which has the imprimatur of a Rabbi must be true. On which topic, I am reading “Paranormality” by Prof. Richard Wiseman and he describes the importance of the surrounding bullshit to persuade people of the “truth” of the paranormal. Think men is long, guilded dresses, funny hats, incense etc.

  28. Robster says:

    Are these christian “spokespersons” all cast from the same ugly mould? Surely having someone to speak silly nonsense on behalf of the deluded would be more effective if that someone were to look errr…normal. Not all ugly people are godbot christians, all religious spokespeople are it seems really unattractive.