Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

Complete list of 8,000+ Thatcher statements & texts of many of them

1971 Oct 10 Su
Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Finchley Methodists (Education Sunday)

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Document kind: Speech
Venue: Finchley Methodist Church, Finchley
Source: Finchley Times, 15 October 1971
Journalist: -
Editorial comments: 1830.
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 407
Themes: Autobiography (childhood), Education, Religion & morality, Society

Knowledge not enough!

Faith and purpose are needed as well, says Mrs Thatcher

Mrs Margaret Thatcher, Secretary of State for Education and Science, told a packed congregation that knowledge was not enough—faith and purpose were also necessary—when she spoke from the pulpit at Finchley Methodist Church, Ballards Lane, on Sunday evening.

More than two-dozen head teachers were among the congregation at the unusual education service.

The guests also included the Mayor and Mayoress of Barnet, Councillor and Mrs Ken Hughes, Mr Jack Dawkins, Chief Education Officer, and Mrs Dawkins and Councillor Victor H. Usher, chairman of the Education Committee, and Mrs Usher.

Barnet councillors and administrative members of the education department were also present.

Both Mr Dawkins and Councillor Usher read lessons.


Mrs Thatcher spoke first of Alfred Robertsher father as one of the most educated men she knew, and said that he had preached at least one sermon a week.

Her theme was based on four words—wisdom, knowledge, understanding and faith.

Mrs Thatcher, MP for Finchley, said she had recently been round a primary school where the head told her that as many deprived children came from the professional and working-class families. In another school one child in four came from a problem home.

She spoke of religious lessons in schools—the only compulsory subject in the curriculum—and the move towards teaching other subjects, like humanism, instead.

The danger in this, she said was like cutting off a flower from its roots. It was lovely for a time, but then it would wither and die.


The Minister, the Rev. Leonard Barnett, said Mrs. Thatcher would make a splendid Methodist preacher.

In his sermon he referred to Oscar Wilde 's play The Importance of Being Earnest, raising the school-leaving age to 16, Chairman Mao, John Schlesinger 's film Sunday Bloody Sunday, and materialism— “what so many young people today are rebelling about.”

He said the only true alternative to modern soulless society was the Kingdom of God.