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Shap - who are we?

Shap is not an acronym, it is the name of a village in Cumbria. In the spring of 1969 a conference on ‘Comparative Religion in Education’ was held at a hotel in Shap. Arising out of that conference came the decision by the participants to set-up a working party to campaign for and support the development of teaching about the World’s Religions in schools and other educational settings.

Few of the participants of that 1969 conference are still with us. But over the years new colleagues have been invited to join the working party such that it has always maintained about 35 active members, each invited to join in an individual capacity and asked to continue the work started by the founders. The next few paragraphs give a brief summary of some of our major activities, the links will take you to more details.

Shap members produce, in different formats, an annual calendar detailing the festival dates of many world religions. Ours was the first such calendar, and although it now has many rivals we firmly believe that ours is still the best. Each year our dedicated and expert team corresponds with around 25 different religious organisations to ensure the accuracy of the calendar

Shap produces an annual Journal, much-loved and widely read by those professionally involved in the fields of religious studies and religious education. The back catalogue of the Journal provides a rich resource for those seeking information on a wide range of topics about religions in the modern world.

The Shap advisory service offers free information about all aspects of religion. If you do not find an answer to your question in the previous questions section, then submit your question to us (submit new question) and one or more of our members will provide you with an answer.

Our most recent innovation is the audio glossary, which offers you not only a definition of many of the words that crop up in the study of religions, but also the opportunity to hear the word pronounced by a speaker from the relevant religious tradition.

Before long we hope to be able to give details of a visual resource centre, our latest exciting project.

The Shap Working Party on World Religions in Education - Registered Charity No. 271510

Shap is a charitable private company, with company number 01241032, contact via