Suffolk College’s Christian Civic Celebration
Suffolk College affirms that minority ethnic individuals are entitled to the same equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities as the majority population. This is outlined within the College’s Equal Opportunities Policy. The College strives to ensure that, whatever the heritage and origins of members of the College community, everyone is equally valued and treats one another with respect.
This policy serves to remind us all that diversity in our society is a strength and we must ensure equality and equity having regard to issues of gender, age, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and culture.
Link: Suffolk College
The above is from the college’s Racial Equality Policy, yet the college’s Civic Celebration of Community will be a Christian service, not a religiously neutral secular ceremony. I’ve had an invitation from Prof. Dave Muller, Principal of Suffolk College, to the event on 9th June. The covering letter begins,
I am delighted to enclose for you an invitation to attend the above event on Friday 9 June 2006 at 1200 noon at St Mary le Tower Church, Ipswich. This Christian service is being held in collaboration with Ipswich Borough Council and St Mary le Tower Church, and is celebrating the involvement of the college with the local community.
Last year, as a representative of Suffolk Humanists, I wrote to decline the invitation, pointing out that Ipswich’s community is diverse and that the college isn’t a religious institution, so why have a Christian service? Instead, it should be a secular ceremony, I suggested. Prof. Muller didn’t respond. I believe that he’s had a similar response from Suffolk Inter-Faith Resource. So this year I shall decline again, and will explain why.
If you’d like to support Suffolk Humanists in calling for a secular Civic Celebration, please write to:
Prof. Dave Muller, Principal, Suffolk College, Ipswich, IP4 1LT.
Mayor Councillor Bill Wright, Ipswich Borough Council, The Civic Centre, Civic Drive, Ipswich, IP1 2EE.