Guarding and proclaiming the unchanging truth in a changing world

'Special Religious Education' in New South Wales

18th May 2020

In New South Wales in the 1850s, the Church of England passed control of many of its local schools to the government.  In return, local clergy were guaranteed ‘right of entry’ to teach their faith to students.

Today, a law in in New South Wales requires that “in every government school, time is to be allowed for the religious education of children of any religious persuasion.” This time is known as ‘Special Religious Education,’ or SRE, and there are some 11,000 SRE teachers in the state of New South Wales, making it the largest year-round volunteer force in Australia!

Through Youthworks, the Diocese of Sydney is one of the leading providers of both trained SRE teachers (rectors, curates and parishioners from every parish) and SRE curriculum.  

There are 806,000 students in New South Wales government schools and less than 10% of them attend Sydney Anglican SRE.  But the COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools to go online.  Youthworks has modified some of its SRE lessons for parents to use at home with their children AND the government has put a link to our resources on every school website.

Its exciting to think that even though our SRE teachers can’t meet with their students, the gospel is now available to all 806,000 students and their families through this new channel!

Please pray that our great God will do what he has promised – and work through his Word to bring glory to his Son through the repentance and faith of many.

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