A member of the Child Evangelism Fellowship has paid regular visits to most of the island’s primary schools.

Education officials, responding to a Freedom of Information request, confirmed that a member of the Fellowship visit schools more than 200 times a year, delivering assemblies to pupils by re-telling them bible stories and gives a prayer at the end.

Representatives from the group visited Willaston school weekly and another, Kewaigue, no fewer than 28 times this academic year.

According to the Child Evangelism Fellowship Ireland website this organisation has ’overseas missionaries’ in the Isle of Man whose ministry includes visits to schools.

Founded in the USA in 1937, the ministry has grown into the largest evangelistic outreach to children in the world and has its international headquarters in Warrenton, Missouri.

Its website describes CEF as a ’Bible-centered organization composed of born-again believers whose purpose is to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to establish (disciple) them in the Word of God and in a local church for Christian living’.

In its FoI response, the Department for Education and Children said: ’If teachers become aware of "evangelising", they would intercede immediately.

’Teachers would be expected to deliver all lessons, including RE lessons, and assemblies in an impartial unbiased way and this would be monitored by heads of department and senior school leaders.’

A previous FoI response revealed that creationism - the belief in divine creation rather than evolution - is being taught or discussed in 21 schools, 11 by people other than teachers. Living Hope church elders visit six schools up to five times a year to discuss subjects with pupils.