By John Bingham, Telegraph
Christian members of the Girl Guides will be allowed to mention God before they take the organisation’s new pledge in a compromise backed by the Church of England’s Synod
The Girl Guide movement last night offered an olive-branch to Christians over the decision to drop references to God from its traditional pledge after pressure from the Church of England over the issue.
Members of the movement will be now be able to add a line to the start of the new promise specifically mentioning God.
The announcement came as the Church of England’s General Synod voted overwhelmingly to endorse the approach.
Christians voiced dismay last year when the organisation announced that, following a major consultation exercise with its members, it was dropping references to God from the traditional pledge.
Under the new wording, which came into force in September, members now pledge to “be true to myself and develop my beliefs” instead of promising to “love my God”.
The approach contrasted sharply with that of the Scouts which recently introduced an alternative secular promise for atheists but retained references to God in its main pledge.
Some Guide groups, including one in Jesmond, Newcastle, refused to adopt the new wording and faced the threat of expulsion.
But a compromise deal has now been reached after talks with the groups, many of which meet in church halls.