Guides and Brownies currently vow to ‘to love my God’, but the new oath drops the reference for the first time since the Guides began in 1910. They will promise instead to ‘be true to myself and develop my beliefs’.
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.’
Reacting to the decision, Girls’ Brigade’s national director Ruth Gilson said, ‘While I agree with their assertion that “formal religion” isn’t the only route to develop faith, this step does seem to be an intentional shift away from having any Christian basis at the core of Girl Guiding as a movement.’