14 July 2009

General Secretary of the Methodist Church responds to BBC consideration of non-religious voices on Thought For The Day

The General Secretary of the Methodist Church has responded to the BBC Trust consideration of non-religious voices to be included on Radio 4's Thought For The Day.

Martyn Atkins, General Secretary of the Methodist Church, said: "Faith-based communities have a distinctive voice, and large numbers of people listen to Thought For The Day for that very reason, so I would be saddened to lose those crucial few minutes of spiritual reflection. I recognise, however, that faith-based communities do not have a monopoly on 'thoughts'!

"The BBC as a public broadcaster has a challenge to represent a variety of views in society, and it is important that this slot remains available as a pause to reflect on spiritual or ethical issues. Sometimes it serves to reassure, sometimes to challenge, but it is a vital space in the middle of a busy news programme.

"Methodists are not afraid to be challenged about what we believe, and we are not threatened by hearing secular voices on Thought for the Day. But we, along with other Christians, will hope to continue to be given opportunity to speak of the things that matter so deeply to us."

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