Skip to comments.Scouts' forest chapel torn down after 70 years because it might offend non-Christians[UK]
Posted on 06/05/2007 12:23:33 PM PDT by BGHater
For almost 70 years, Scouts and Guides have savoured their place of peaceful worship under the trees.
But no longer. The woodland chapel has been demolished - its wooden pews and rudimentary cross and altar removed. In its place is a campfire circle.
The change has been imposed by the Scout Association, which believes the chapel excludes non-Christian Scouts.
Locals are dismayed, but the association says it is simply "moving forward".
The basic open-air structure in woodland surrounding Belchamps Scout Centre in Hockley, Essex, was built between the wars by volunteers.
They used old telegraph poles for pews and built a basic altar and cross. Visiting groups of Brownies, Guides,
Cubs and Scouts, have used it for generations.
Weddings have been blessed there, ashes scattered and memorial trees planted.
But in April, as the Scouting movement celebrated its centenary, it was torn down.
Former Scout leaders are outraged. Keith Rooks-Cowell, 66, led Sunday services in the outdoor chapel for more than 30 years.
The retired civil servant said: "Part of the Scout promise is to do our duty to God. It's an important tradition.
"Scouting has got no objection to any religion or faith - you should have faith, but it's not important which one.
"Anyone from any faith or any religion could go and use the chapel, it's never been a problem. The chapel was already inclusive.
"It has been wrecked. All the posts and everything had been demolished and laid flat. I was amazed and felt disgusted that this had been done."
Wendy Wilson, a bank worker and Scout leader from South-end, held religious services in the chapel for seven years. Her son Joshua, now nine, was baptised there.
She said: "It's a really special place. We all make a promise to do our duty to God, whatever God that may be.
"The chapel has never been an issue. If people didn't want to attend services, it didn't matter and they could choose to have their own ceremonies there. Nobody was made to feel excluded."
However, centre manager Nigel Ruse, 42, said: "The updating of the chapel was done to turn it into a place of worship for all faiths and not to exclude any one from Scouting.
"This is a case of taking Scouting-forward."
He said religious ceremonies could be held at the campfire circle.
But Mr Rooks-Cowell said: "A campfire is a place for sitting round singing, telling jokes and stories. The chapel was used as a quiet place for any leaders to go and sit and think. The two don't sit comfortably together.
"The campfire is not the right place for worship. All religions involves meditation and relaxation."
Last year, it was revealed that the Scout Association banned helpers from putting suncream on children unless they already had sunburn. This was to done to prevent allegations of child abuse.
Scouts ARE a CHRISTIAN BASED ORGANIZATION!! While they do allow members of other faiths in, make no mistake that they are Christian based....
The Girl Scouts WERE at one time as well, but they have been lost at least at the national level to lesbians and wiccan liberal nonsense.
They mean Muslims don't they.
- Be proactively non-offensive.
When I was a Girl Scout we said the following words at the close of each meeting: “May the Great White Father look over us until we meet again.” Can you imagine?
They should tear down Stonehenge...it might offend someone.
But nobody cares about offending the Christians with such a malicious act, eh? Wonder why? Other, that’s right, Christians don’t hack your head off if you offend them. Sigh.
“The Cross is an offense to those who are lost”
A pity really, the Scouts should have shown the backbone that they ask their young members to have.
This was an act of religious intolerance against Christians.
That's such garbage. It's just as good a place as any. God is everywhere. Including in front of a campfire.
All religions involves meditation and relaxation.
Baloney. Ever been to a Yeshiva or Synagogue? Our prayers are good and loud.
As an atheist I am extremely offended by the removal of a cherished place to suit the whiny nicompoops who quite often make me look bad.
Gotta’ watch how you pick your friends.
BTW, imposing the standards of your form of religious worship on others is rather much don’t you think. It’s not like you have a monopoly on the rules!
Does this coincide with the addition of the “Promoting Jihad” badge?
Disgusting, and they did it to themselves. More appeasement.
More important than that, this story reveals the essence of modern liberalism, which is to DESTROY everything that stands in the way of absolute “equality” and absolute multiculturalism. The feelings of the people most affected, let alone the traditional predominance of Christianity in scouting, mean absolutely nothing to these HEARTLESS, INHUMAN ideologues.
Girl scouts unfortunately at the national level are a joke. Most of the individual troop leaders are still decent moral christian women. The national organization though has been taken completely taken over by feel good, accomplish nothing, “empowerment” minded, lesbians, wiccans etc.
Juliette Gordon Low is spinning in her grave.
A camp fire circle? My how Pagan of them!