Church Children’s Clubs will not be Ofsted Inspected

We are delighted to report that the Government has abandoned plans to register and inspect out-of-school educational settings. If this had gone ahead it would have had a massive impact on churches and other Christian groups running Bible study activities, both in terms of the extra work involved but also the possibility of traditional Christian teaching being seen as potentially harmful and therefore censored.

There may have been financial considerations and practical constraints which led to this decision, but we are grateful for the many Christian organisations – including Affinity members – who submitted formal responses to the consultation on this proposal. Ultimately though, we see God’s hand in directing the hearts of the authorities to preserve our freedom to keep preaching the gospel to our children and young people. Many Christians prayed about this issue and we give thanks for answered prayer.

This all comes in the wake of research by the Prince’s Trust reporting that young people’s happiness has never been lower: Three out of five young people surveyed regularly feel stressed, a quarter feel hopeless and half had experienced a mental health problem of some kind. Of course, there may be many societal factors which are causing this; it may be connected with the high levels of insecurity associated with widespread family breakdown in the UK. But we would suggest that one of the main drivers for depression and discontent is the pressure to be rich, popular and beautiful. Young people feel these things keenly and are worried they will not succeed; they expect that they will not get the job that allows them to follow their dreams, have a wide circle of loyal friends and achieve a high level of fashionable attractiveness. This inevitably leads to a sense of failure in the present and pessimism about the future.

Thank God that the gospel makes us rich, brings us into a wonderful family and gives us dignity and beauty in God’s eyes.

There is a real spiritual hunger shown by these statistics. So whilst we have the freedom to teach children and young people about Jesus, let’s make the most of every opportunity and keep on faithfully, enthusiastically and prayerfully doing so wherever we can.

Graham Nicholls, Affinity Director


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