LEADING CATHOLIC theologian Fr John McDade called for the Government to support faith schools to stop 1 I 11111 110111 LU111111g d God-free zone”.
The principal of Heythrop College, London University's specialist school of theology and philosophy, was speaking at St Joseph's College speech night.
After righting a six-month battle, the Stoke-on-Trent school was celebrating news that it would not be closed, nor would it be forced to conform to open access selection procedures. Speaking to a full house, Fr John said: "St Joseph's is 411 eAL.CIICLIL CAd1J1j)1C small ecosystem where parents. teachers and pupils have achieved a remarkably successful development of Christian education and for it to have been threatened with closure was disastrous. It is renowned as a place of energy that brings the best out of people and should be .cherished.
"Faith schools are absolutely vital because we cannot allow the public life of Britain to become a Godfree zone..They.are impor
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tinctive witness of religious communities."
St Joseph's College headteacher Roisin Maguire said: " I did not appreciate having to refocus on a campaign to save this school; it was time wasted, not well spent."
She continued: "There are some things worth fighting for — St Joseph's is certainly one."