An independent commission established by Cambridge’s Woolf Institute has today published its final report, calling for a ‘new settlement’ in relation to religion or belief in the UK.
Living with Difference: Community, Diversity and the Common Good is the end result of the work of twenty commissioners, including leaders from a range of religions, equality and human rights specialists, and the Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association. Chaired by the Rt Hon Baroness Butler-Sloss of Marsh Green GBE, they spent two years gathering 200 evidence submissions in writing and held oral witness sessions across the UK, in order to make recommendations targeted at policy makers, government officials, religious leaders and the wider public for how policy and practice relating to religion and belief should develop in the UK.
The report draws attention to the way that the religion and belief make-up of British society has changed immeasurably in recent decades. Positive recommendations of the report include:
BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented, ‘Perhaps no one will agree with every recommendation made today, but they all tend in the right direction, beginning to deal with a transformed social reality in Britain, and acknowledging that public policy has to change to accommodate that reality. It is striking that this report has been composed by so diverse a group and on the basis of so much evidence from an even wider range of religious organisations and other stakeholders. Vital to the future of Britain as a cohesive society will be the ability of people of all religions and non-religious beliefs and identities to act together for the common good.’
For further comment or information, please contact Campaigns Manager Richy Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7324 3072.
As well as its Chief Executive being a Commissioner, the BHA provided written and oral evidence to CORAB.
The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethically and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion of belief.