A Brownies leader of 40 years says she is ‘sad and upset’ a pledge to God was dropped from the promise youngsters make when they join the movement.

Currently, members pledge: “I will do my best, to love my God, to serve my Queen and my country, to help other people and to keep the (Guides/Brownies) law.”

But after a consultation which gathered the views of 44,000 people, the word God has been dropped and replaced with a promise to “be true to myself and develop my beliefs”.

The move is aimed at making the movement more inclusive.

But Iris Andrews, who ran the 7th Wanstead Brownies for four decades and still retains an honorary role as Wise Owl with the group, is opposed to any change.

The 89-year-old said: “It does upset me. I can’t really see why they had to change it.

“Everyone has a god somewhere or other. If girls worship a different religion, that’s fine.

“I don’t see why they can’t just be allowed to say the name of their own God, rather than removing the line altogether.”

While the promise retains a promise to serve the Queen, the word country has been replaced with community.

Mrs Andrews said: “Community is probably easier for younger children to understand.

“But really I don’t think the wording should have been changed at all. This isn’t just some club.

“For me the promise I made still counts and, while I’m upset, I remain totally committed to the movement.”

But not everyone is upset about the changes.

Janice Pettit is the Guides county commissioner for an area which encompasses both Wanstead and Woodford.

She said: “As far as I’m concerned we needed to change the promise to help us engage with the girls.

“This will ensure we are inclusive to everybody.”

The new promise comes into effect on September 1 and alternative versions will not be provided.

Gill Slocombe, Girlguiding’s Chief Guide, said: “We hope the new wording will help us reach out to girls and women who might not have considered guiding before, so that even more girls can benefit from everything guiding can offer.

“Guiding believes in having one Promise, which is a clear statement of our core values that all our members can commit to.”


I promise that I will do my best:

To be true to myself and develop my beliefs,

To serve the Queen and my community,

To help other people


To keep the (Brownie) Guide Law.