[caption id="attachment_5042" align="alignright" width="120" caption="Tim Mander, CEO SU Qld "][/caption]

The Australian Christian Lobby is encouraging churches to support the National Day of Prayer for School Chaplains on Sunday, May 1, organised by Scripture Union Queensland.

Chaplaincy is an important service provided to many state schools around the country. It is supported by principals, by students, and by our Prime Minister. As well as providing counsel for students who seek spiritual guidance, chaplains also develop relationships and provide emotional support for all students, and connect them with specialist community services such as counselling or medical services when required.

However, school chaplaincy is currently under threat, with the High Court considering the case of Williams v The Commonwealth. SU Queensland is one of the defendants in the case, in which Toowoomba father Ronald Williams is claiming that government funding of school chaplaincy is a breach of our Constitution and that it violates the principles of a secular democracy.

There are concerns that, if Mr Williams wins this case, there may be ramifications for chaplaincy beyond schools, in the armed forces and the Federal Police.

The hearing is scheduled for May 10-12, which is why the Day of Prayer has been scheduled for May 1. SU Queensland CEO Tim Mander (pictured) has asked churches across the nation to join together in prayer that day, praying that the government’s National School Chaplaincy Program will be able to continue, and that the ideology behind the push to remove school chaplaincy will not prevail.

SU Queensland has developed a complimentary Church Prayer Day Pack, which includes a visual presentation, statement of support forms, and advertisement artwork to be inserted into bulletins or newsletters. Churches can register for this pack here. There is also further information about the High Court challenge, and about school chaplaincy in Australia, on this website.