God vow dropped from Girlguiding UK promise

Brownies The reference to God has been part of the Girlguiding Promise since the organisation was founded

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Girls will no longer have to pledge their devotion to God when they join the Guides and Brownies in the UK.

It comes after a consultation found a new Girlguiding UK promise was needed to include "more explicitly" the non-religious and those of other faiths.

They currently vow to "to love my God, to serve my Queen and my country".

The new oath drops the reference for the first time since Guides began in 1910 and will see them promise to "be true to myself and develop my beliefs".

The revised wording from September will also see members of the 540,000-strong organisation promise "to serve the Queen and my community".

Guides promise from September 2013

I promise that I will do my best

To be true to myself and develop my beliefs

To serve the Queen and my community

To help other people


To keep the Guide (Brownie) law

The consultation earlier this year involved nearly 44,000 Girlguiding UK members and non-members.

Chief Guide Gill Slocombe said: "Guiding has always been somewhere that all girls can develop their beliefs and moral framework, both inside and outside the context of a formal religion.

"However, we knew that some people found our promise confusing on this point and that it discouraged some girls and volunteers from joining us.

"Guiding believes in having one promise that is a clear statement of our core values for all our members to commit to. We hope that our new promise will allow all girls - of all faiths and none - to understand and feel proud of their commitment."

The promise has been changed 11 times in the organisation's history, most recently in 1994 when the long-standing phrase duty to God" became "to love my God" and "serve the Queen" was supplemented with "and my country".

First Guides promise: September 1910

On my honour I promise that I will do my best

To do my duty to God and the King

To help others at all times

To obey the Guide Law

The British Humanist Association (BHA), which gave a response to the consultation, welcomed the change, noting it was the first version of the oath to "open guiding up fully to non-religious girls".

BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson said: "The new promise is about personal integrity and ongoing and active self-reflection, both of which sit well alongside a sense of responsibility to others and to the community."

Stephen Evans, campaigns manager at the National Secular Society said: "By omitting any explicit mention of God or religion the Guide Association has grasped the opportunity to make itself truly inclusive and relevant to the reality of 21st century Britain."

The Church of England was among the groups which had urged Girlguiding UK to keep the reference to God in the promise.

In December last year, the UK Scout Association announced its own consultation to see if its members would support an alternative Scout Promise for atheists, who are unwilling to pledge a "duty to God".

And in July 2012, 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.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 409.

    @402 - Ernie. Viewing those with a belief as delusional is what concerns me...

  • rate this

    Comment number 408.

    Jaw dropping truth
    2 Minutes ago

    I can with 100 % conviction guess that is you dug deeper into this, you will find that it has come from a Islamic pressure group who will be offended by this as they will claim it is racists ..
    I can with 100 % conviction say that you're talking out of your backside.

  • rate this

    Comment number 407.

    I can with 100 % conviction guess that is you dug deeper into this, you will find that it has come from a Islamic pressure group who will be offended by this as they will claim it is racists ..

  • rate this

    Comment number 406.

    Take out all the 'I vote labour cos me dad voted labour and is dad before im' types who just say they're protestant or catholic, and the Muslims who have to say it otherwise get ostracized and you end up with a lot more than a quarter.

    Jedi passes the boundary every year and they won't recognise it but all the other religions with their masses of evidence(!) are allowed...

  • rate this

    Comment number 405.

    Making the promise is not compulsory for members unless they wish to work toward one of the higher awards Baden-Powell Challenge (Guides) or Queen's Guide (Senior Section) or unless they wish to be group Leaders. Other members of all ages are welcome without taking the Promise which should only be made when the individual is ready.

  • rate this

    Comment number 404.

    I couldnt care less whether its balanced reporting, the fact is the BHA were only giving a response to the organisations decision to make the change. They were not the ones deciding to make the change.

  • rate this

    Comment number 403.

    Not like the beeb to open up something that could be anti Christian for a have your say!
    So when they going to get rid of the bit about the Queen then - regardless of your views on God, the queen & royal family are here for all to see, and deserve loyalty from no one!

  • rate this

    Comment number 402.

    @389 - tommyfisk - "it is very sad to see in many of the comments here the view that to have a belief in God is not a healthy thing ... If a girl does 'love her God', is this seen as something to be discouraged?"

    Sorry to say it but many that don't believe in god consider it a bit delusional. So yes, we would discourage children from believing in imaginary friends with loads of weird rules.

  • rate this

    Comment number 401.

    Maybe the vows should be ironic, and force recruits to say out loud what in fact most people do most of the time, as cognition, viz:

    " I promise to run with the pack wherever it may go, right or wrong, never to take a side which seems to be losing, to do no better than I need, however low the standard, etc."

  • rate this

    Comment number 400.

    Never professed a religion, but anyway I could ask you why do we even exist at all? Didn't the big bang release equal amounts of matter and anti matter? Let me gues... you don't wait, in fact no one does. No one can or ever will no it All ,but some scientists feel that will do. I'm not at anti-science but I am against those without humility

  • rate this

    Comment number 399.

    I sympathize with the moderate religious people who through long years of indoctrination are unable to exercise their faculties for reason, but I don't think we should continue the dangerous public sponsorship of outdated superstition. So I am all for removing reference to god(s). If you feel the need to challenge this I suggest you do so by praying. All the best of luck with that by the way.

  • rate this

    Comment number 398.

    Yet another climb down the the politically correct. This country is pathetic now.

  • rate this

    Comment number 397.

    380.ale lover
    "To change it to 'be true to yourself'' confirms that guides is now an atheist organisation and excludes those of faith"

    'Excludes those of faith'? What utter nonsense. The old oath positively excluded those of *no* faith who felt uncomfortable about swearing an oath they could not keep. The new one excludes *nobody*.

  • rate this

    Comment number 396.

    "Can we honestly say we dont need a God when you see the depravity and greed that we now take as an every day way of life."
    - I see it every time I look at the Cathlic Church, the Pope for e.g. in royal high quality dress and surrounded by gold and gems. 1 billion Cathlics, large % in povety while their church sits high. A true depiction of a Church/religion.

  • rate this

    Comment number 395.

    366. Mojothechimp

    Worship comes in many forms, you see it at film premiere nights, music concerts, at the start of boxing day sales, the increasing reliance on modern technology, ever left your mobile phone at home, the isolation felt.
    Christian worship in this country especially in churches is undeniably in decline, but is the overall need to worship, in my opinion I don't think so.

  • rate this

    Comment number 394.

    365. MagicMartian
    Faith is belief without evidence .Science is belief based on evidence.
    In what way are they the same?
    How is believing in cause and effect irrational? the definition of rationality is making sound judgements based on past experience.
    Have you got evidence for events that have occurred without causes? If not what is your claim to be rational?

  • rate this

    Comment number 393.

    Can't we have an Atheists Brownies run by an alternative organisation?
    It seems to me both sides of the debate hate each other.

  • rate this

    Comment number 392.

    "those who don't believe in any form of god are relatively rare and can merely keep quiet"

    Relatively rare..? According to the 2011 census, it's at least 25% of the population. Why should they/we keep quiet?

  • Comment number 391.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 390.

    5 Minutes ago
    "God gave each of us a choice."
    If we all have a choice then why is the pledge so important to all the Christians around here? It's not removing the right to choose belief. It's not removing god from their lives. It's a few words which allow them to feel welcome, whatever god(s) they believe.
    Huge improvement.


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