crossteach extremist
Education

Church of England school headteacher brands Crossteach educational charity ‘extremist’

Dan Turvey B.Ed (Hons) NPQH is headteacher of St John’s Church of England Primary School in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent. “Christian values are at the heart of all we do and our Christian ethos is very strong,” he writes in his website welcome. Looking at their vibrant Gallery page, they appear to do lots of edifying Christian things, like ‘Easter Prayer Stations’, ‘Tudor Day’ (jolly good), carol concerts and Harvest Festival in St John’s Church, with which the school has strong links.

For 16 years, the school has been graciously assisted by Crossteach, a Christian charitable organisation which seeks to represent the historical Christian faith in a school setting. They are “Christian Schools Workers, partnering with local Christian communities to enable young people in schools to critically engage with the Christian faith in a fun and relevant way”…

So they do things like taking assemblies (the statutory ‘Daily Act of Collective Worship’) and helping out with RE lessons (because, frankly, it is a woefully neglected subject in the curriculum, very often palmed off to under-employed geography or PE teachers who just happen to be Christian/Muslim/Jedi-inclined). Crossteach is exactly the sort of professional and ethical charitable outfit with which a lot of schools would love to work, particularly with that (often) awkward Daily Act of Collective Mind-Numbing Banality Which Passes for Worship.

But a group of parents at St John’s Church of England Primary School weren’t happy with Christians coming in and talking about sin and Jesus and judgment and men and women getting married – you know, some of that basic Christian stuff which Dan Turvey says is at the heart of all they do because their Christian ethos is very strong. These parents objected to such “extremist beliefs”, and say Crossteach had been “upsetting children with a fundamentalist approach”.

Mr Turvey was a bit irritated by this, responding: “I do not believe CrossTeach has done anything wrong.” He added: “They do not deserve the tarnishing of their good name and allegations of extremism that have taken place over the last few months.”

So what does he do?

Robustly defend the Crossteach commitment to Christian orthodoxy?

Thank them for their 16 years of loyal and faithful service to his school, which is, after all, a church school?

Bless them for enabling hundreds of young people to critically engage with the Christian faith in a fun and relevant way?

Send the zealous complaining parents packing with fleas in their ears?

No, none of that: “After careful consideration I have decided that we will end our regular commitment to CrossTeach and that they will no longer lead assemblies or take lessons, he writes to the parents. “I have taken this action as I hope to bring an end this campaign and allow us to move on.”

And thereby he attests to the veracity of the parents’ complaint about ‘hate’ and ‘extremism’, pronouncing Crossteach unfit to lead school assemblies, and inadequate to assist with RE lessons. It’s a wonderful Christian witness for a church school – is it not? – when the party which is judged to have done no wrong has its good name tarnished by a supine headteacher who publicly condemns the group by banning them from leading assemblies and taking RE lessons (they are still permitted to lead optional after-school clubs “for those children and parents who wish to carry on”, which is very Christian of him).

Crossteach national director, Wayne Harris, has issued a statement:

Crossteach often works in partnership with local churches and reflects their teaching, always aiming to be sensitive to the local context, and recognising that churches vary. Crossteach always works within the policies and guidelines of each school, and these sometimes vary from school to school. There is usually a member of the school teaching staff present at every Crossteach activity and in 16 years of working in schools no teacher has ever raised with Crossteach a concern that something that has been said could be interpreted as in any way ‘hateful’ or ‘extremist’.

What a pity that Dan Turvey B.Ed NPQH fundamentally failed a rather important test of church school leadership, just “to bring an end this campaign and allow us to move on”. Unfortunately he has ensured that it will run, and run, and run.

  • layreader

    All good accurate stuff, apart from the headline. Dan Turvey, while he has made the wrong decision here, was quite happy with the involvement of CrossTeach in his school. And so the 95% of parents who send their child to a C of E school just so they are properly educated are trounced by the 5% who have no idea why they sent their child there.
    It’s a parable, if you want one, for the way that all politics works in our liberal ‘democracy’. If only a small number of people can make a large enough noise, then decision-makers, schooled in the principles of management rather than the principles of integrity, will always cave in for a quiet life.
    This is Marxism as it is currently practised. And, in Tunbridge Wells, to boot…

    • No, the headline is entirely accurate: Dan Turvey did indeed write to parents that he was happy with Crossteach, but then proceeded to ban the group from taking assemblies and RE lessons, thereby tarnishing their good name with the whiff of extremism. He should have told the zealous parents that they are lawfully entitled to withdraw their children from the Daily Act of Collective Worship and RE lessons, and made alternative arrangements. What he should not have done was to impugn Crossteach and humiliate them before the world.

    • Busy Mum

      Those parents have a very good idea of why they send their children to that school. They want the fruits but not the root.

  • Maalaistollo

    Best rename the outfit ‘St Pontius Pilate’s Church of England Primary School.’ And maybe the PTA could have a whip-round to buy the chappie a haircut.

  • Richard B

    Thanks and was looking forward to your take on this Ur Grace. I’ll be forthright and risk the irrational responses of ‘losers’ (ie the ‘Lost”): does Dan Turvey realise the personal consequence of publically denying his Lord? – his own denial by Jesus! (Matt 10:33). Why’s he unable and unwilling to stand up and be counted? He and parents need to get real, ‘man-up’ and grasp what life and death are all about.

    The real issue is the pig-ignorance and namb-pamby parenting of those who’ve never themselves grown up with the dreadful effects of worldwide deaths (eg as had my parents and family through 40 years of war and murder of millions of teenagers and young men). We ‘baby boomers’ all heard about death and that one day we too would face it – so the more intelligent of us wanted to learn and get ready. But not so today when it’s all fun and play, no right or wrong it’s whatever you want, wetting ourselves if someone says “Boo!”…no real God or accountability to our Maker who arranged for us to be with Him if we appreciate why and how His only begotten sacrificed His own life so we can enter heaven and the Throne Room!

    • Sarky

      Actually, the decline of christianity in this country started with 40 years of war. The people saw the death and destruction, looked to the sky and the sky was empty.
      The ‘intelligent’ ones looked at the history of this country and chose a different path.

      • Richard B

        It was much earlier Sarky, but my father returning from WWII realised none of those killed had returned from the dead. But even as he was lapsed RC I was blessed to ‘see’ him still alive after his own passing! (Heaven’s not in the sky but a dimensional realm)

        • Sarky

          I think you’ve been watching too many movies.

          • Richard B

            Nah, just naturally supernatural

      • Terry Mushroom

        Why blame God for what men and women have done?

        • Anton

          He doesn’t believe that God exists to be blamed!

      • Richard B

        ‘Intelligent’? Surely not as intelligent as Albert Einstein! Upon returning home my wife gave me what a friend had so timeously given her as quoting the great scientist as posted in Saturday Evening Post, 26 Oct 1929 :
        “As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene. No one can read the gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates every word. No myth is filled with such life.”

        • Sarky

          I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
          Mahatma Gandhi

          • Chefofsinners

            Even during His lifetime, most people did not like Christ. You may have heard that they crucified Him. And that He said “Take up your cross and follow me.”

          • Richard B

            That’s precisely why I became an anti-Christian as teenager – ’til
            encountering Jesus decades later in near-death experience (as I told you before
            ‘Sarky’). Being confronted with the effect of His holiness upon my wrongfulness
            I had to re-appraise all my views and realised HE is the only perfect person –
            real Christianity is not Churchianity!

            ‘Intelligence’ OED defn: ‘ability to gain and apply knowledge and skills’ –
            (also) to scrutinise, query and test all data, experiences and others’ opinions
            objectively and learn therefrom. That’s my use of it above; and intelligence
            means having an open, questioning intellect – not the stubbornly closed,
            prejudicial (ie bigoted) mind-set that’s incapable of learning (ie modifying
            mind/communication/behaviour).

  • Dolphinfish

    I am tempted to have a gleeful smirk at the problems Anglicans seem to face. However, as Catholics seem to have the same problems these days ( inevitable, I suppose, after 50 years of Protestant infiltration) I will refrain. What I will do is to offer the same solution I offer to my own church. Get out of the business of public education altogether. By that I mean close down all schools that take public finance. Leave only church schools that are financed by the parents or by benefactors. There might be only a handful of them left, but at least they will be genuine church schools teaching a genuine Christian ethos. Well, the Catholic ones as least. Of course, atheists would not be happy with this. They will try to use the power of the state to wrest the children away from their parents, but at least the battle lines would be much more clearly drawn and you would find there are a lot of allies out there that you didn’t know you had. Not every nonreligious person is a Christ hater.

  • Tom Thompson
  • David

    What a disappointing, rather cowardly reaction from what I presume was a committed Christian head teacher.

    • Sarky

      Its the cofe!! I doubt he’s a christian.

      • David

        Ha ha !

        • Chefofsinners

          Most heads of CoE schools are not practising Christians. In Catholic schools it is usually a requirement, but in CoE schools it is generally only ‘desirable’. Adverts for headships only average 2-3 applicants, so governing bodies can’t be too choosy.

          • Dominic Stockford

            RC Schools insist only on Head Teachers being practicing RCs. Not Christians.

          • James60498 .

            I have a relation who is head of a CofE school. I rather suspect last time he went into a Church, other than possibly as part of his school duties, would have been five years ago.

            As for Catholic Heads, yes. I think that they are expected to go to to Church on Sunday. From experience, other than endlessly repeating, “This is a Catholic School” at parents’ meetings, I am not sure that anything further is required. Christianity and Catholicism are then written down to being nice to other people.

            Having said that I do know that there are some RC Dioceses where more is required, and that there are some selective CofE schools where Christianity is taken seriously. Unfortunately I think both are few and far between.

    • Anton

      I believe that the way forward is for Christian parents to set up their own schools, rejecting state funding, where standard, straight forward Christian teaching can be offered. This would of course involve financial sacrifice.

      Except that the Jews tried that in Vishnitz Girls School in north London and were faced with deregistration as a government-recognised school for refusing to teach lesbianism to pre-pubescent girls. Does anybody know what happened next?

      • David

        I was aware of their problems, and appalled at what the Inspectors expected them to do, but I don’t know anything about the outcome.

  • Ray Sunshine

    The school expelled Crossteach three days ago, on Monday, 16 October. We’re not told the date on which Mr Turvey received the letter of complaint, so we don’t know how long it took him to reach his decision. Did he speak to other parents? I would imagine he probably did, but then again, we’re not told. Were there some among those parents – and, if so, how many – who were supportive of Crossteach and told Mr Turvey they wanted the existing arrangement to continue? That information is an input that would make a difference. It rather looks as though there can’t have been a substantial number, but I’m surprised that not a single one of the newspapers Cranmer links to here has gone to the trouble of finding out.

    • Tom Thompson

      a lot of parents are upset that there was no consultation – first they heard of it was that a much loved group had been banned on basis of whinges from a small group of activists.

      • Ray Sunshine

        Tom, you seem to be suggesting that Dan Turvey didn’t contact any other parents to tell them about the letter of complaint he had received, and to ask them what their own views were about carrying on with Crossteach or getting rid of them. Is that what you’re saying?

        • Tom Thompson

          I live locally and know parents at school who knew nothing about the complaints till the Christians were shown the door.

          • Ray Sunshine

            Thank you, Tom. I have added your reply to a conversation with Chefofsinners now up near the top of this thread.

    • Busy Mum

      Invoking the word ‘extremist’ is all that is required to carry the day, it seems.

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        Only extremists use the term ‘extremist,’ to silence the opposition, as indeed they do with ‘racist’ and ‘Nazi’. It is both inappropriate and wearisome, but an ever present aspect of modern life.

  • Busy Mum

    Prayers for the dead?

    In a CofE school?

    • Little Black Censored

      ????

      • Busy Mum

        In a Roman Catholic school, yes…..

      • Protestants don’t pray for the souls of the dead …. well, some do and some don’t …. some pray to Mary …. and some don’t.

        • carl jacobs

          As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs.

          • Carl, yes, it was scandalous. The Council of Trent instituted severe reforms in the practice of granting indulgences, and, because of prior abuses, in 1567 Pope Pius V cancelled all grants of indulgences involving any fees or other financial transactions. This act proved the Church’s seriousness about removing abuses from indulgences.

          • carl jacobs

            I just thought people would like to read a typical RC prayer for the dead.

          • Carl, such dishonesty is unbecoming.

            The Church teaches that in purgatory the souls of many of those who have died in God’s grace undergo purification so that they may enter heaven. Many of the Fathers of the Church, such as St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom, considered prayers for souls in purgatory to be essential. St. Catherine of Genoa (1447 – 1510) wrote of the “flame of love” in purgatory removing what she called “the rust and stain of sins” and filling souls there with an intense longing for God’s eternal embrace.

            The Prayer of St. Gertrude (1256 – c. 1302) reflects Catholic sentiment and belief:

            “Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.”

            This traditional prayer expresses actual doctrine:

            “O Lord, who art ever merciful and bounteous with Thy gifts, look down upon the suffering souls in purgatory. Remember not their offenses and negligence’s, but be mindful of Thy loving mercy, which is from all eternity. Cleanse them of their sins and fulfil their ardent desires that they may be made worthy to behold Thee face to face in Thy glory. May they soon be united with Thee and hear those blessed words which will call them to their heavenly home: “Come, blessed of My Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

          • carl jacobs

            The RCC hasn’t changed the teaching, Jack. It’s just changed the currency.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Jack is right: there is nothing wrong with praying for the dead. It is as legitimate as praying for the living. However, I recommend the more sober, theologically solid and very beautiful prayer that forms the Communion Antiphon of the Requiem Mass:

            “May eternal light shine on them, O Lord, with all your saints for ever, for you are rich in mercy. Give them eternal rest, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine on them for ever, for you are rich in mercy.”

          • carl jacobs

            Prayers for the dead are hopelessly intertwined with the concept of purgatory. One without the other makes little sense. But purgatory is a Catholic invention. The destiny of the dead man is fixed. Nothing can be done to alter it. For it is appointed once for a man to die and then to judgment. Praying for the dead is a pointless exercise. You might as well pray that history be changed.

            What is done is done.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            You are wrong. Christians were praying for the dead centuries before the doctrine of purgatory was formulated. The destiny of the dead is decided by God, not by human dogmas.

          • But the dogma, being Divinely revealed, informs us of what we need to know about God’s plan for our salvation.

          • “But purgatory is a Catholic invention.”

            The earliest reference in the Bible is found in 2 Maccabees.
            Oh …. forgot …. Luther decided to remove this from the 1000 year old canon of inspired texts. Wonder why?

            The Christian community in Rome gathered in the catacombs under the city to pray for those faithful followers of Christ who had been buried there. They believed that their prayers served to assist those who had died, just as the prayers of the dead could also aid the living members of the community. We also have both the Sacramentary of Serapion (330 to 360) and a Homily from St. John Chrysostom attesting to the antiquity of the practice already in the Fourth Century. Pope St. Gregory the Great (540-604) would often offer Masses on behalf of the souls in Purgatory.

          • Malcolm Smith

            2 Maccabees does not teach anything about Purgatory. It refers to an incident in which some of the war dead were found with idols in their possession. It was therefore decided to offer sacrifices in the temple in atonement for their sins, so that they could be redeemed on the Day of Resurrection. Read it. It was meant to save them from their sins, not reduced their temporary penalty.
            If you doubt this, can you find any indication that Purgatory was a doctrine of Judaism?
            As far as Christianity goes, the Greek church never accepted the doctrine.
            http://orthodoxinfo.com/death/stmark_purg.aspx
            Even St Augustine said he could not rule it out because it might be true. As Salmon pointed out, a tradition which was only a possibility in the 5th century cannot be a certainty in the 6th.

          • You don’t believe our understanding of scripture and doctrines grow and develop? The very fact they were offering sacrifices to atone for the sins of the dead means we can intercede with God on their behalf.

            It means they who died were not ready to meet Him and needed to undergo purification to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of His presence.

            “[Judas[ turned to prayer beseeching that the sin which had been committed might be wholly blotted out… He also took up a collection… and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honourably… Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.”on

            Purgatory is a teaching revealed in the New Testament and defined by the Catholic Church – just as the Triune and the Hypostatic Union..

            “Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; truly I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.””
            (Matthew 5:25-26)

            Tertullian saw this teaching as parabolic, using the well-known example of “prison” and the necessary penitence it represents, as a metaphor for Purgatorial suffering that will be required for lesser transgressions.

            “For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble—each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”
            (I Corinthians 3:11-15)

            This text speaks of the judgment of God where the works of the faithful will be tested after death. It says our works will go through “fire,” figuratively speaking. In Scripture, “fire” is used metaphorically in two ways: as a purifying agent (Mal. 3:2-3; Matt. 3:11; Mark 9:49); and as that which consumes (Matt. 3:12; 2 Thess. 1:7-8). So it is a fitting symbol here for God’s judgment. Some of the “works” represented are being burned up and some are being purified.

            What is being referred to cannot be heaven because there are imperfections that need to be “burned up” (see again, Rev. 21:27, Hab. 1:13). It cannot be hell because souls are being saved. So what is it? The Protestant calls it “the Judgment” and we Catholics agree. We Catholics simply specify the part of the judgment of the saved where imperfections are purged as “Purgatory.”

          • Anton

            We have two facts from the Bible:

            1. Those who died in faith, at least, are aware (see Rev 6:9-10 and the other verses with which Chef taxed Ian the other day), and are not yet resurrected prior to final judgement.

            2. The fate after final judgement of every human cannot be changed after that person has died (2 Cor 5:10 + Hebrews 9:27).

            Can our prayer alter the situation of a deceased person in their pre-resurrection state? What should we do if we believe we have seen a ghost? I admit that I don’t know. And I don’t hold with Purgatory.

          • “And I don’t hold with Purgatory”

            Lol …. Good job it doesn’t depend on you. God has a part to play in it too.
            If Luther and pals hadn’t, by private personal opinion, removed certain books from the Canon of inspired scripture, accepted by the early Church, (as if they had the authority to do so), you’d have no option but to accept prayers for the dead.

          • Anton

            Good job salvation doesn’t depend on Unam Sanctam either.

          • Oh, but it does ….

          • Anton

            Saying so does not make it so. You really need to learn this lesson at some point.

            The protestant Bible was the canon of (among others) the Church Father St Jerome. He held that the ‘Apocrypha’ are not scripture. Roman Catholics hold that they are. Jerome was not alone, for in the 2nd century Melito of Sardis reportedly travelled to the Holy Land seeking to settle the question, and reached an essentially similar conclusion.

            No Apocryphal book asserts divine authority (as do the law and prophets). Moreover:

            • Sirach says this on bringing up children: “He who loves his son will whip him often… If you play with your child, he will grieve you; do not laugh with him, or you will have sorrow with him… give him no freedom in his youth… make his yoke heavy” (ch. 30). I have seen enough distorted translations of this now not to trust them. Use a dictionary if you remain in doubt. Is that passage consistent with the loving discipline in Paul (Ephesians 6:4), or Proverbs, or Jesus’ tender talk of children in Matthew 18?

            • Tobit was supposedly alive when the Assyrians invaded Israel in 722BC (Tobit 1:3), and also alive more than 200 years earlier when Jeroboam’s revolt against Jerusalem (Tobit 1:4-5) divided Israel into northern and southern kingdoms. Yet he is said to have lived less than 130 years (Tobit 14:2)!

            • The Letter of Jeremiah (often printed as the 6th chapter of Baruch) says (in verse 2) that the Jews would be in Babylon for seven generations, whereas Jeremiah (25:11) stated (correctly) 70 years.

            I addressed my comment about praying for the dead to another protestant because I thought I’d get a thoughtful reply rather than a parroted one…

          • “The protestant Bible was the canon of (among others) the Church Father St Jerome. He held that the ‘Apocrypha’ are not scripture.”

            Aside from the fact that Saint Jerome isn’t infallible, in his later years he did indeed accept the Deuterocanonical books of the Bible. In fact, he wound up strenuously defending their status as inspired Scripture, writing:

            “What sin have I committed if I followed the judgment of the churches? But he who brings charges against me for relating the objections that the Hebrews are wont to raise against the story of Susanna, the Son of the Three Children, and the story of Bel and the Dragon, which are not found in the Hebrew volume (ie. canon), proves that he is just a foolish sycophant. For I wasn’t relating my own personal views, but rather the remarks that they [the Jews] are wont to make against us”(Against Rufinus 11:33 [A.D. 402]).

            In earlier correspondence with Pope Damasus, Jerome did not call the deuterocanonical books unscriptural, he simply said that Jews he knew did not regard them as canonical. But for himself, he acknowledged the authority of the Church in defining the canon. When Pope Damasus and the Councils of Carthage and Hippo included the deuterocanon in Scripture, that was good enough for St. Jerome. He “followed the judgment of the churches.” As St. Jerome said, it is upon the basis of “the judgment of the churches” and no other that the canon of Scripture is known, since the Scriptures are simply the written portion of the Church’s apostolic tradition.

            The overwhelming majority of Church Fathers and other early Christian writers regarded the deuterocanonical books as having exactly the same inspired, scriptural status as the other Old Testament books. Just a few examples of this acceptance can be found in the Didache, The Epistle of Barnabas, the Council of Rome, the Council of Hippo, the Third Council of Carthage, the African Code, the Apostolic Constitutions, and the writings of Pope St. Clement I (Epistle to the Corinthians), St. Polycarp of Smyrna, St. Irenaeus of Lyons, St. Hippolytus, St. Cyprian of Carthage, , Pope St. Damasus I, the , St. Augustine, and Pope St. Innocent I.

            As to “errors”, the Church teaches that to have an authentic understanding of Scripture we must have in mind what the author was actually trying to assert, the way he was trying to assert it, and what is incidental to that assertion.

            From a certain perspective, there are “errors” in the deuterocanonical books. The book of Judith, for example, gets several points of history and geography wrong. For example, when Jesus begins the parable of the Prodigal Son saying, “There was once a man with two sons,” He is not shown to be a bad historian when it is proven that the man with two sons He describes didn’t actually exist. So too, when the prophet Nathan tells King David the story of the “rich man” who stole a “poor man’s” ewe lamb and slaughtered it, Nathan is not a liar if he cannot produce the carcass or identify the two men in his story. In strict fact, there was no ewe lamb, no theft, and no rich and poor men. These details were used in a metaphor to rebuke King David for his adultery with Bathsheba. We know what Nathan was trying to say and the way he was trying to say it. Likewise, when the Gospels say the women came to the tomb at sunrise, there is no scientific error here. This is not the assertion of the Ptolemiac theory that the sun revolves around the earth. These and other examples which could be given are not “errors” because they’re not truth claims about astronomy or historical events.

            Similarly, both Judith and Tobit have a number of historical and geographical errors, not because they’re presenting bad history and erroneous geography, but because they’re first-rate pious stories that don’t pretend to be remotely interested with teaching history or geography, any more than the Resurrection narratives in the Gospels are interested in astronomy. Indeed, the author of Tobit goes out of his way to make clear that his hero is fictional. He makes Tobit the uncle of Ahiqar, a figure in ancient Semitic folklore. Just as one wouldn’t wave a medieval history textbook around and complain about a tale that begins “once upon a time when King Arthur ruled the land,” so Catholics are not reading Tobit and Judith to get a history lesson.

            As for Ecclesiastics 30:1-13 (Book of Sirach). Let’s quote it in context.

            “He who loves his son chastises him often, that he may be his joy when he grows up. He who disciplines his son will benefit from him, and boast of him among his intimates. He who educates his son makes his enemy jealous, and shows his delight in him among his friends. At the father’s death, he will seem not dead; since he leaves after him one like himself, whom he looks upon through life with joy, and even in death, without regret: The avenger he leaves against his foes, and the one to repay his friends with kindness.

            He who spoils his son will have wounds to bandage, and will quake inwardly at every outcry. A colt untamed turns out stubborn; a son left to himself grows up unruly. Pamper your child and he will be a terror for you, indulge him and he will bring you grief. Share not in his frivolity lest you share in his sorrow, when finally your teeth are clenched in remorse. Give him not his own way in his youth, and close not your eyes to his follies. Bend him to the yoke when he is young, thrash his sides while he is still small, lest he become stubborn, disobey you, and leave you disconsolate. Discipline your son, make heavy his yoke, lest his folly humiliate you.”
            (New American Catholic Edition)

            The author is using metaphor and simile to make his point. As Jack said above, an authentic understanding of Scripture we must have in mind what the author was actually trying to assert.

            The only basis we have for determining the canon of the Scripture and providing an authentic interpretation of it, is the authority of the Church Christ established, through whom the Scriptures came. And the judgment of the churches is rendered throughout history as it was rendered in Acts 15 by means of a council of bishops in union with St. Peter. The books we have in our Bibles were accepted according to whether they did or did not measure up to standards based entirely on Sacred Tradition and the divinely delegated authority of the Body of Christ in council and in union with Peter.

          • Anton

            Thank you; you’ve made such a good case against the Apocrypha that I need not add to it.

          • Well, you’re not only up against St. Jerome (who you misrepresented) but the Didache, Barnabas, the Council of Rome, the Council of Hippo, the Third Council of Carthage, the African Code, the Apostolic Constitutions, and the writings of Pope St. Clement I , St. Polycarp, St. Irenaeus, St. Hippolytus, St. Cyprian, Pope St. Damasus I, St. Augustine and Pope St. Innocent I.

            The only basis we have for determining the canon of the Scripture and providing an authentic interpretation of it, is the authority of the Church Christ established, through whom the Scriptures came.

          • Anton

            I meant that it is auto-discrediting as scripture. The excuses you had to give for it spoke for themselves.

          • They are not “excuses” – they are solid explanations understood by the Church for centuries until the protestant revolution.

          • “it is auto-discrediting as scripture.”
            On who’s authority?

          • Anton

            Anybody with a pulse who reads it, I reckon.

            Catholics take the magisterium’s teaching as inerrant and each Catholic works out what it means for himself. Protestants take scripture as inerrant and each protestant works out what it means for himself. The only difference is in what the two take as inerrant.

          • The Churches defined teachings are spelt out clearly in the Catechism which references Scripture and the Church Father’s and Councils throughout.
            God foresaw the perils of individuals having free reign to interpret Scripture and giving primacy to individual conscience. That’s why Christ established an authoritative Church.

          • Anton

            And then the papacy established an authoritarian church.

          • Needs must …. it’s a Church for all seasons.

          • Chefofsinners

            Our prayer cannot alter the situation of any deceased person, because God knows all and He judges justly. Your Fact 2 above.
            What should we do if we believe we have seen a ghost? Accept that we have seen a Spirit. Such things are mentioned in scripture – Saul and the Witch of Endor, for example. Moses and Elijah speaking with Jesus. The disciples seeing Jesus walking on the water thinking He was a spirit. None of this implies that the state of the Spirit or soul can be altered. The story of the rich man and Lazarus makes this plain: “between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.”

          • Anton

            None of this implies that the state of the Spirit or soul can be altered.

            But the state of Samuel was altered by the witch of Endor. “Why have you hauled me up?”

            I’ve read both sides of an exegetical discussion about whether what appeared was a demon impersonating Samuel. I’d been convinced it was Samuel himself as the text has nothing otherwise until I read the chapter on the episode in Danny Korem and Paul Meier’s book The Fakers. They don’t convince me either but they did enough to put me in a higher state of doubt.

          • Indeed, what is done is done and a person is destined for either Heaven or Hell, depending on the condition of their soul at the time of their death. Prayer cannot alter the soul’s final state or destination. But purgatory isn’t the final destination.

          • The Catholic version:

            “Eternal rest, grant unto him/her O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him/her. May s/he rest in peace.
            Amen.

            May his/her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
            Amen.

          • With respect, that’s b*llocks. The teaching never included indulgences being a commercial transaction between God and the sinner mediated by the Church as His financial agent on the ground.

          • Anton

            What is the practical meaning of Indulgences in the Roman Catholic church today?

          • “An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints”.

            Here’s the most recent Papal document that spells the teaching out:

            https://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-vi_apc_01011967_indulgentiarum-doctrina.html

          • Anton

            As a genuine request for a summary, what does the Roman Catholic church believe it can do on earth to hasten the dead through purgatory, please?

          • Read the document Jack provided the link to.

          • Malcolm Smith

            In that case, have a look at what was going on in Spain until at least the end of the 19th century:
            http://malcolmsmiscellany.blogspot.com.au/2017/10/a-licence-to-steal.html

          • Chefofsinners

            Never mind. I can arrange for all these scandalous practices to be forgiven. What am I bid…?

          • Anton

            How appropriate that it sounds like a Jack in the Box!

    • And also “Easter Prayer Stations” which sounds suspiciously like ….. Stations of the Cross.

      • Busy Mum

        Oh, I know what goes on- this is why my children did not take part in many of the ‘Christian’ activities at our ‘CofE’ primary.

      • Chefofsinners

        That is exactly what it is. Many parishes are Anglo-Catholic of course, but there is a widespread acknowledgment in the CoE that this is a helpful way to reflect on the events of Holy Week.

        • Martin and Dominic will go apoplectic if they use graven, idolatrous images to assist in these reflections.

          • Chefofsinners

            The image is only idolatrous if you venerate the image itself. That has been a blurry line for some in the past, hence the sensitivities.

          • But who would venerate an image? Their use is to recall the person depicted.

    • Anton

      Dear Headmaster

      I go to an Anglican church. It is dead. Please can we pray for it?

      Little Jimmy
      Form 7.

      • Busy Mum

        Dear Jimmy,

        I know not what to pray for as I ought.

        Yours,
        Headmaster

        • layreader

          In the C of E, we don’t pray for the dead. Sorry.

          • Father David

            Oh yes we do! The list of names in my church for the Service of Remembrance of Departed Loved ones at All Souls-tide just keeps on growing and growing.

          • ….. and the reason for praying for them is what exactly?

          • Father David

            Don’t be unhappy Jack! The reason being – just as we loved them in this life, so too that love doesn’t end simply because they have died – we still love them just as much and I for one continue to shew my love for the dear departed by praying for them in the hope that they continue to pray for me – yet on another shore and in a greater light.

          • Then t would seem you accept the “Community of Saints” and prayers of intercession. Is this permitted in the Anglican Church? Do you go so far as accepting purgatory and the need of souls there for prayers on their behalf? Do you also pray to Saints we know are in God’s Presence?

          • Father David

            What could be more credal than the communio sanctorum? I would have thought that all card carrying Christians who faithfully rehearse the Apostles creed assert – “I believe ….in the communion of saints”.
            Well, if you tell me where to find references to purgatory in Holy Writ then I will give considerable thought to the same and I’m very fond of Walsingham. As Archbishop Michael Ramsey once said – “If Mary isn’t in heaven, where the hell is she?”

          • Dear man, Scripture is replete with references to purgatory – and reason itself dictates its existence.

            “[Judas[ turned to prayer beseeching that the sin which had been committed might be wholly blotted out… He also took up a collection… and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honourably… Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.”
            (2 Maccabees 12:42)

            The very fact they were offering sacrifices to atone for the sins of the dead means we can intercede with God on their behalf. It means they who died were not ready to meet Him and needed to undergo purification to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of His presence.

            Purgatory is a teaching revealed in the New Testament and defined by the Catholic Church – just as the Triune God and the Hypostatic Union.

            “Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; truly I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.””
            (Matthew 5:25-26)

            Tertullian saw this teaching as parabolic, using the well-known example of “prison” and the necessary penitence it represents, as a metaphor for Purgatorial suffering that will be required for lesser transgressions.

            “For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble—each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”
            (I Corinthians 3:11-15)

            This text speaks of the judgment of God where the works of the faithful will be tested after death. It says our works will go through “fire,” figuratively speaking. In Scripture, “fire” is used metaphorically in two ways: as a purifying agent (Mal. 3:2-3; Matt. 3:11; Mark 9:49); and as that which consumes (Matt. 3:12; 2 Thess. 1:7-8). So it is a fitting symbol here for God’s judgment. Some of the “works” represented are being burned up and some are being purified.

            What is being referred to cannot be heaven because there are imperfections that need to be “burned up” (see again, Rev. 21:27, Hab. 1:13). It cannot be hell because souls are being saved. So what is it? The Protestant calls it “the Judgment” and we Catholics agree. We Catholics simply specify the part of the judgment of the saved where imperfections are purged as “Purgatory.”

          • Father David

            After considerable thought and with your assistance I can categorically reject the concept of purgatory (except in the sense of reading some of the responses to my comments). It’s sheep and goats, lad, according to the teachings of our Blessed Lord Himself.

          • Yes, but after the separation some of the sheep may need shearing and dipping to remove all trace of insects and fungi. As Scripture teaches: “But nothing unclean shall enter [heaven]” (Rev. 21:27) and Habakkuk, “You [God]… are of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look on wrong…” How many of us will be perfectly sanctified at the time of our deaths?

  • Anton

    Is Turvey after a bishopric?

  • Jill

    Why do these people (the complainers) jump through all sorts of hoops to get their children into church schools, and then proceed to saw away at the branch on which they are sitting? How long before this school becomes yet another bog-standard comprehensive?

    • Sarky

      Trojan horse!!!

    • Busy Mum

      See my reply to ‘layreader’ below.

      It is a primary school, so comprehensive by default.

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    Hah! He has created a huge rod for his own back – now vociferous parents who want their own way only have to shout loud and he will give in, so that they can all ‘move on.’ Seems like invertebrates don’t only sit on the bench of bishops…

    • Norman Yardy

      Too true Mrs P.

    • Anton

      Invertebrates can’t sit; they can only slither around.

      • “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone… “

        • Anton

          Take the plank out of your own eye!

          • You’re appear to be rather ill tempered today, Anton. Any particular reason?

          • Anton

            An illusion at your end?

          • Before passing judgement on Mr Turvey, it might help if you considered the actual situation of the Headteacher and the governance framework he is obliged to work within.

          • Anton

            Nothing is stopping him from resigning, is it?

          • Chefofsinners

            Apart from (probably) having a family to support, a mortgage to pay and a four month notice period.

          • carl jacobs

            So … Are those sufficient reasons?

          • Was this surrender to noisy parents sufficient reason to resign?

          • Chefofsinners

            Again, without knowing all the facts it is impossible to say. But if he resigned, someone else would implement the same decision.

          • Anton

            By resigning he would not have any associated issues on his conscience, of course.

          • Chefofsinners

            Impossible to say unless you are in his precise position and have all the facts before you. There’s is absolutely no reason why he should sacrifice his career to your moral agenda. – the man may well not be a Christian himself.

          • Anton

            How do non-Christians get to be headmasters of church schools?

          • Well that’s really a matter for his conscience and, after reflection, whether he believes continuing in his post entails cooperation with manifest, intrinsic evil.

            A Christian isn’t called to invite martyrdom in progressing Christ’s Kingdom. Has he denied Christ? Have the school? You don’t have full information on either the situation he faced or the options he considered.
            “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
            What is it you do for a living?

          • Anton

            I asked a question rather than asserted that he should resign precisely because I don’t know all the facts.

          • Hmmm …. Hardly an “open” question, Anton.

            “Nothing is stopping him from resigning, is it?”

            Dropped the stone yet?
            And what is you do for a living?

          • Anton

            Sorry Jack, but just as I’m not Turvey’s judge and never claimed to be, you’re not mine.

          • …. he said as the stone dropped from his hand.

          • Anton

            I’ve said nothing here that I regret.

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        You are familiar with House of Lords debates, then…

      • Ray Sunshine

        Anton, you can’t have forgotten Little Miss Muffet. Spiders are invertebrates.

    • Father David

      I do hope that your latest comment does not apply to the Lord Bishop of Barchester?

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        I am his backbone…

        • Father David

          How spine chilling is that?

        • writhledshrimp

          Frankly, I miss the Warden, and I know she is married but I still fancy Eleanor.

  • I felt sorry for him, clearly in a very difficult position. But yes, undeniably supine. Another surrender on the road to total submission.

    • He’s appears to be a young Head Teacher. Perhaps he’ll learn from this surrender.

  • One wonders what hand the local authority Director of Education and local councillors on the Education Committee played in this. Did the Head Teacher consult with his local bishop? Did he seek support from his trades union? Were the children asked? Would a majority of parents have stood by him? Did he have the support of his teaching staff?

    Agitators know where the levers of power lie. Christians need to sharpen up their skills in these matters and become as wise as serpents.

  • carl jacobs

    This is about “brand”. One doesn’t wants one’s school labeled “fundamentalist”. It’s supposed to be a nice CoE school teaching nice CoE things.

    In modern understanding, religion is just one vehicle for the distribution of socially acceptable values. Religious particulars are not important in this understanding and exclusive truth is positively subversive. In fact the truth of religion itself isn’t really important. Does God actually exist? Well he does for you if you think he does. The commonality of religion is found in some basic underlying universal morality to which some deity may or may not be connected.

    So what you get is religious education that amounts to “Don’t lie”. Anything else is extremist.

    • No ….
      “Thou shalt not bully or upset one another, especially the little boy who thinks he’s “gay” or that he’s a girl.”

      • carl jacobs

        Yes, you shouldn’t. “Bully” is too weak a word to describe what actually happens. It’s more like “terrorize, traumatize, and beat”. You shouldn’t use the word so lightly.

        • Imagine if this generation are ever called to fight a war.

          • Anton

            Quite.

          • carl jacobs

            This has nothing to do with fighting a war. If you want me to recount from personal experience just how damaging, destructive, deep and long-lasting the impact of bullying is, I am quite capable of doing so. When it happens to your own kid, you get to line the effects up close and personal.

            This is probably the dumbest statement I have ever seen you make on this board. You don’t know what you are talking about.

          • Anton

            I think you have replied to something other than what Jack meant. Let’s see.

          • Keep your hair on.
            Jack wasn’t referring to genuine bullying, the destructive impact of which he knows full well. He was referencing the politically correct “understanding” of bullying nowadays which increasingly includes everything that upsets a child. It may be different in the USA but here anything that troubles a child, including normal playground interaction, is increasingly seen as “bullying”. Heck, Scotland is about to make “smacking” one’s own child illegal. Good luck with defining what constitutes a “smack”.
            Children need to learn how to deal with everyday conflicts, learn to give and take and to acquire appropriate assertion skills. This is different to experiencing the systematic and deliberate infliction of distress on a child by repeated physical or verbal assaults intended to cause to suffering.
            So not “dumb” – it seems we were talking at cross purposes.

          • carl jacobs

            Fair enough. I’ll withdraw the comment.

    • Busy Mum

      Even ‘Don’t lie’ is extremist; CofE school policies have been updated to promote ‘appreciation of truth’. They used to talk about searching for ‘the truth’.

      • Anton

        Or even revealed truth.

  • Where does the responsibility lie for this surrender actually lie?

    Governor Roles & Responsibilities

    Whilst the headteacher and the senior leadership team have responsibility for the day to day running of the school, governing bodies have a strong focus on three key strategic functions:

    Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction
    Holding the headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils and the performance management of staff; and
    Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent

    Additionally as a voluntary controlled Church of England school our foundation governors have a specific responsibility to maintain the Christian character of the School.

    http://www.st-johns.kent.sch.uk/the-governing-body-1/

  • dannybhoy

    If you are an employed person you will be beholden to your employer. He/she pays your wages from which you pay your taxes and support your family (if you have any).
    Nobody wants to lose their job, because it means a loss of income, a loss of status, pressures on your marriage, pressure on the kids.
    That’s how millions of Germans who weren’t members of the Nazi Party, were nevertheless coerced into serving the Reich in whatever capacity.
    It ain’t nice but it is reality.
    Persecution of Christians will lead to job losses or compromises.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      You make a valid point…I shake my bustle in your general direction

      • dannybhoy

        Aah! It’s fragrance reaches all the way to Norfolk..
        It is a valid point borne out by history..
        We may like to think we would stand strong in the face of persecution, but it’s not just us involved, is it?
        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pq7ngxwGAA

      • Anton

        Leave it in your hedgerow.

  • IanCad

    Is it just me, or is there something a little out of kilter with these “O so modern headmasters.”?

    Can’t help but to see some similarity between the rather stylish Dan Turvey and this specimen:
    http://www.hamhigh.co.uk/education/headteacher-says-plans-to-replace-gcses-with-i-levels-could-be-disastrous-1-2227523
    Who is at the cusp of neutering what God ordained at Creation.

  • donadrian

    I am trying to remember the last time I heard about a head teacher (in either a maintained or an independent school) standing up to pressure from parents. The National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) does not appear to have a module on it.

    • The parents are only as effective as the School Governing body allow them to be – and the Headteacher only as strong as the support they lend him.

      Would this be a matter of resignation? A matter of conscience demanding he say: “Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.”

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      No it des not: it waxes lyrical about leadership, however, which this chap has failed to demonstrate.

  • Chefofsinners

    Poor Mr Turvey. He will be having a fairly stressful half term. It is often the lot of the headteacher to look a bit of an idiot because s/he cannot explain the full circumstances.

    He is almost certainly acting on the direction of the governing body. Since this is a Voluntary Controlled Church school, only about a quarter of the governors will be Church appointees. The rest will be parents and other local volunteers.

    Beneath the surface there is probably more than meets the eye. Perhaps one of the volunteers who comes into school has expressed views elsewhere which have upset the campaigning group of parents.

    Ultimately, a CoE school is not a church, it is an opportunity for the church to serve people and for people to encounter the church. We must meet them where they are, avoid offence and sow seeds of kindness.

    • Currently we have 3 foundation governors appointed by the Diocese; 1 Local Authority appointed governor, 2 governors elected by parents, 1 governor elected by staff and 5 co-opted governors appointed by the governing body for their specific skills and competencies. the headteacher is also a governor and both the school business manager and deputy head teacher are associate governors who attend all meetings.

      These are the three governors to whom questions ought to be directed:

      Foundation Governors – Diocese

      Mrs. L. Curtis – Governor responsibilities for Christian ethos and SIAMS, Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND) and governor training.

      Mr. C. Kemp – Governor responsibilities for Curriculum, SIAMS, Safeguarding and Head Teacher appraisal

      Revd. G .Walter – Ex-officio foundation Governor and part of the monitoring group for Christian ethos and SIAMS.

      It is they who “have a specific responsibility to maintain the Christian character of the School.”

      • Busy Mum

        One of our foundation governors said that he would only step in as a ‘Christian’ in extreme circumstances. He saw his role more about keeping the peace than maintaining Christianity.

      • Chefofsinners

        But those three governors will not take independent decisions. They will not be responsible for this course of action and they will not be able to change it without the agreement of a majority of the governors.

        • Anton

          They might, however, make a public dissenting statement.

          • Chefofsinners

            No doubt we have not heard the last of this.

          • Ray Sunshine

            The glass is half full, then. I hope you’re right. I would have suspected half empty.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            They are not supposed to

        • A lot will depend on the chair of the governing body and the attention they pay to those with defined responsibilities and expertise. The three foundation governors appointed by the Diocese carry responsibility for statutory SIAMS inspections (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools inspection).

          These inspections addresses 4 key questions:
          – How well does the school, through its distinctive Christian character, meet the needs of all learners?
          – What is the impact of collective worship on the school community?
          – How effective is the religious education?
          – How effective is the leadership and management of the school as a church school?

          If the Headteacher sought their counsel and support and they backed him, he would be on fairly solid ground. It was more than a “day to day” issue.

          • Chefofsinners

            No, it will depend on a majority vote of the governing body. The chair might, at best, have a deciding vote if the governors were equally split.
            Those with responsibility for the Church foundation (and its inspection for one day every five years) do not have corresponding authority.

          • Depends. A good chair will remind meetings of the mission and purpose of a religious school and what its there for. He would lead the discussion and involve people according to their ability to speak with expertise on the different aspects of this. He’s not just there to manage discussion and hold votes. He’s also responsible for the quality of the process.

          • Chefofsinners

            The chair does not have the ability to change people’s minds or to vote for them. You might as well say a good politician will persuade everyone to vote Conservative. School governors tend to know their own minds, and so they should.

    • Ray Sunshine

      “Beneath the surface”? I think we should be told. As I said in an earlier comment, discussions of some kind must have taken place between the moment that Dan Turvey was handed the letter of complaint and last Monday, when he announced his (or somebody else’s?) decision to give Crossteach the sack. Whatever happened in that interval can fairly be described as a matter of public interest – otherwise it wouldn’t have got into the Telegraph and the other papers.

      • Chefofsinners

        The fact that you think you should be told, or that the public is interested, does not entitle you to know.

        • Ray Sunshine

          Sad but true. Dura lex sed lex, as somebody once quipped.

          • Chefofsinners

            I don’t think the Catholics approve of Duralex.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            OK that did it…chortle chortle…

          • Only for using on exhaust pipes of teacher’s cars.

            [Yes, Mr Mathew, if you’re reading this, it was Jack]

          • Chefofsinners

            Don’t try that with a nun. You might rubber up the wrong way.

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          Are you feeling somewhat choleric?

          • Chefofsinners

            Scholeric, m’dear.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Then make me laugh, you always do…

        • Anton

          Legally or morally?

          • Chefofsinners

            Legally for sure. Morally, impossible to tell.

  • What is the ‘Tudor Day’?

    • Chefofsinners

      Putting on big girly trousers, eating medlars and dancing to Greensleeves while playing tennis.

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        And donning a saucy codpiece, methinks?

        • Chefofsinners

          Probably not in a primary school, although what goes on at the Barchester Academy for the Educationally Subnormal is no business of mine.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            No hobnobs for you!

        • Sarky

          I could never find one big enough.

          • They’re not meant to cover one’s mouth, Sarky.

          • IanCad

            Thanks for a good laugh to start off the day.

          • Sarky

            I hear you fashioned one from a peanut shell and an elastic band.

          • A Christmas present for you, Sarky.
            Do let one have a forwarding address.

      • carl jacobs

        Must be a British thing.

        • You could always have “Geneva Days” – that would be fun.

          • IanCad

            Guy Fawkes – Servetus. Detonation and disagreement; same penalty for both.
            Those were stern days.

      • And role plays of adultery and executions?

        • Chefofsinners

          No, nothing to do with the sins of the popes.

          • There was a Tudor Pope? Oh, yes, Henry VIII claimed that role.

          • Chefofsinners

            And despite all his faults, was a considerable improvement on the man in Rome who claimed that role.

          • Hmm …. be interested to see you provide evidence that comment. Whatever the sins of “the man in Rome” he didn’t go about redefining doctrine and wrecking his subjects faith to pursue murderous obsessions, immorality and lusts. Pope Clement VII, for all his faults, is often listed amongst the “bad popes” of Catholic history but by most accounts he was an upright man, devout and not licentious, lavish or cruel as so many of his fellow “Renaissance Popes” are often thought to have been. Hs failure was lacking an understanding of the age necessary to handle the political and religious changes he faced. In the more ecclesiastical aspects of his pontificate Clement was free from reproach.

          • Jonathan

            Was it not a Pope who made Henry VIII “Defender of the Faith”?

          • It was and a Pope later revoked the title.
            It was granted in 1521 by Pope Leo X. (His wife Catherine of Aragon was also a Defender of the Faith in her own right). The title was given in recognition of Henry’s book Assertio Septem Sacramentorum (Defense of the Seven Sacraments), which defended the sacramental nature of marriage (irony of ironies) andthe supremacy of the Pope (again, irony of ironies), in opposition to the early stages of the Protestant Reformation. The title was revoked by Pope Paul III and Henry was excommunicated.

          • Simon Platt

            I saw an old missal in an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London, last year. It was open at the Te igitur, and, right at the bottom of the page, where it ought to have said “una cum papa nostro”, “papa” had been scratched out and replaced, not quite expertly, with “rege”.

            Most of the exhibition was about embroidery, which was interesting in a way but didn’t grab me. To see this emendation, which was not apparently the point of the display of this missal and could easily have been missed, was worth the entrance fee, however.

          • What did it do with: “Ecclesia tua sancta catholica” and “et omnibus orthodoxis atque catholicæ et apostolicæ fidei cultoribus”?

          • Simon Platt

            Nothing. Una cum etc. was right at the bottom of the page, so omnibus orthodoxis etc. must have been overleaf, but I’m sure it would have been left untouched as was ecclesia tua sancta catholica. It must have been from the 1530s.

            The great thing about “rege”, from Henry’s point of view, was that it fitted perfectly in the gap left by “papa”. I almost didn’t notice at first.

    • Inspector General

      Celebrating a murderous Welsh family, apparently…

  • Dominic Stockford

    “Rejoice when you are persecuted for my name’s sake…..”

  • “These are my principles, Sir; and if you don’t like them…..I have others.” [Groucho Marx]

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Excellent sir, excellent…

  • Norman Yardy

    This is the first post in quite a long time that has made my blood boil. I was so upset this morning when I saw it that I could not comment at the time, I needed to calm down. Having read other comments I am sure there is more to this than meets the eye. The Chiefofsinners probably has got it about right yet, It is extremely sad that it has happened. We have a similar organisation here in Brentwood that does an equally good service of taking the Gospel into local schools.
    How is it that we give way to the enemy for the sake of peace. Why not stand up for the Lord even if it causes personnel loss. One victory for the enemy of the Gospel here will have repercussions in many other places.

  • John

    So ‘Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’ is now a limp-wristed, yoghurt-knitting, tofu-eating, left-leaning, whale-saving, Guardian-reading snowflake who is probably unsure whether he is a she or a he, but knows that Islam is a religion of peace and that Christianity in any form but the most inane is dangerous for society. Times change.

  • Norman Yardy

    The Telegraph wrote;
    “The main thrust of the argument has been that by inviting a Christian charity called CrossTeach and individuals from St John’s Church to deliver assemblies/collective worship, we have knowingly allowed your children to be exposed to extremist beliefs and that as a result some children have been upset and disturbed emotionally,” he wrote.

    What is more upsetting for children and extreme than Transgendering which the Government intends to introduce?

  • James Church

    This most distressing as a church that has hosted CrossTeach’s Easter Experience and as a CrossTeach volunteer I can testify to how sensitively it is led, to the dedication of the volunteers and the creativity of the program as a whole. It is most disheartening to see Wayne and others labelled as extremists and the important work they are doing trashed mainly though ignorance combined with cowardice.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      You have my full support.

    • dannybhoy

      I hope they don’t give up. It is time for Christians to reclaim territory in CofE schools, not cede it to people who want the advantages of a school with a Christian ethos…without the Christianity.
      My wife has started up a version of Messy Church in our CofE infants and juniors school, and once a week we go in to hear the children (to varying degrees) read to us.
      I feel sorry for this chap who has caved in to pressure to ditch Crossteach. I wonder how much support he got from other Christian parents?
      Sorry to say this but my observation is that many Christians seem to prefer being part of the great ‘Silent Majority.’

      • Helen

        As far as I can tell many of the other parents knew nothing about this until the letter went home from the headteacher. Had they known I am sure they would have backed him up and supported Crossteach. My children are also at a school that uses Crossteach and I have a feeling that we are facing a similar problem with a backlash from certain parents. Thank you YG for highlighting this in your blog. It’s great to see some support after all the negativity in the press!

        • dannybhoy

          “As far as I can tell many of the other parents knew nothing about this until the letter went home from the headteacher.”
          That doesn’t surprise me, but at the same time did that rule out a counter protest?
          We should look at how other minority groups go about standing up for their interests and copy their methods…
          I still think we have a defeatist attitude in the face of opposition.

          • Helen

            There is a counter protest going on now. I don’t think this issue will be forgotten in a hurry!

          • dannybhoy

            Well that’s great. The article from Christians in Education seems to point to the head as caving in to the parents. Perhaps prayerfully getting alongside him and rallying support from other parents for a reinstatement of Crossteach might change the situation? The majority never really decide an issue, it’s the activists!

          • Helen

            I sincerely hope so! Meanwhile the rest of us at schools which use Crossteach need to get behind our headteachers and give them our full support before they too cave into any pressure.

          • dannybhoy

            Amen.

          • James60498 .

            I keep suggesting exactly that.

            I do think though that part of the problem is that other minority groups, though sometimes incredibly small, have the blob (I know that’s a name used for the DoE, but it seems an appropriate name too for Progressives in general) on their side and running and organising it for them. They have huge amounts of money from people like Soros behind them.

            We don’t have that. We are too widespread. Not so much in terms of location. They are too. But in terms of what we want.

            Some people will not work with Catholics. Full stop.
            I have to admit too that I think that possibly in some cases, Catholic led groups do not take into consideration how much more they could do if they were prepared to talk to others.

            There are numerous organisations, Evangelical, Catholic and some secular working on these things. But it’s as though they can’t work together. Fighting over donations, if not literally then all out with their separate begging bowls.

            Some pro-lifers don’t want to get involved in other things. Quite understandably they see the murder of unborn babies as priority 1, but they don’t see how other things tie into it.

            Many are made to feel that they are unusual, so keep it to themselves and won’t get involved in anything. My mum was at an event at Church. There was a conversation between three people. One said that she was against “gay marriage”, but felt that she had to excuse her strange behaviour by saying that it was because she is old fashioned. She’s forty.

            I was at the March for Life in Birmingham in May. I don’t know what the official numbers were but it seems to be growing.

            But nearly everyone there was Catholic. Whose fault is that? The organisers or the Evangelical groups who don’t even advertise it? Or both? I suspect both, but I don’t know.

            But its completely unacceptable. Even the BBC wouldn’t be able to ignore it if many more people turned up.

            I would love to be in a position where I was able to bang heads together.

            We really do have to work at this. Together.

          • dannybhoy

            “I do think though that part of the problem is that other minority groups, though sometimes incredibly small, have the blob (I know that’s a name used for the DoE, but it seems an appropriate name too for Progressives in general) on their side and running and organising it for them.”
            On one level desperate people who have fled to the West are much more used to fighting their corner than us who are privileged to have been born into stable, prosperous and free societies. We have largely forgotten what it means to be hungry and without..
            Also we are not yet ready to deal with the other bunch of ruthless, sadistic, amoral criminal individuals and gangs who trade in drugs, prostitution, people trafficking, protection rackets, kidnap, fraud and cyber crime, and who have absolutely no commitment to our nation or our way of life.
            We can happily blame all this on the vacuous or cynical idiots who over the years have managed to convince us they are fit to be trusted with protecting our nation and its interests. They will never admit it, but it is precisely because these bozos have made great mistakes (more on the strength of their egos than their common sense), that we find ourselves in this mess today.
            They try to distract our attention with other big and pressing issues such as teaching transgenderism to little children, or organ harvesting or whatever; hoping against hope that you won’t notice their utter failure to get to grips with the real problems..

    • As someone with 20+ years experience of schools ministry who has now found himself similarly tarnished & expelled thanks to a long term orchestrated campaign by atheist parents, here is my response.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Yes indeed. Good response. I am no longer invited into one primary school (which is now a ‘state’ one, even though our congregation founded it 150 years ago). My crime was clearly to teach them something clear about the Christian faith in the two visits I was allowed to make, rather than nothing. My reputation for speaking precedes me, as even when I offer to go into local secondary schools and help them with a précis of what Biblical Christian faith really is I get ignored – they’d rather have people who have no faith teach about it. They’ve made jolly sure I never ‘win’ election as a parent-governor either.

    • writhledshrimp

      This sounds like a planned and concerted effort by a militant group of atheists who have got exactly what they wanted. A national exposure of their agenda – with no thought for the impact on the school or the children, or indeed your colleague Wayne. By your fruits shall you be known. The parental clique that instigated this, echo chambering in their cult like self righteousness, have sown disharmony and schism, they should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Inspector General

    It’s enough to make a cat puke…

    “While in many cases vomiting is due to a cat’s over obsessive-compulsive tendencies (i.e., licking and grooming themselves to the point of hair balls coming back up), there is often another reason why they can’t seem to keep their food down. – reading about inane effete so called Christian headmasters”

    Resign, Turvey, you scoundrel, resign, sir!!

    Give the cat some respite, won’t you!

    • Chefofsinners

      No doubt you would be the first to apply for the vacancy if Mr Turvey resigned.

  • Paul Correa

    Perhaps they should be going to a different school than an actual Christian one.

    • Crazyfrog

      religion has no place in state schools

      • Chefofsinners

        Or the state has no place in religious schools. But these schools are both: the state pays the operating costs, while the Church gave the land and original buildings. Neither can be undone without vast expense.

        • Crazyfrog

          true – time to withdraw state funding from these schools and put it into non religious schools perhaps? Overall educational standards might decline though.

          • Chefofsinners

            Overall, 40% of primary school children would suddenly find there was either no money to pay their teachers or no school to go to. It’s not a practical suggestion.

      • Paul Correa

        Your laws say otherwise.

      • carl jacobs

        What with all the irreligion in schools, where would they find room for religion anyways? Teaching kids irreligion is a large enough task on its own.

      • Simon Platt

        Secularism has no place in state schools.

      • Anna055

        …but it’s still officially the state religion isn’t it? Bishops in the House of Lords and all that …and legally the Queen is the head of the C of E.

  • It’s a tricky judgment about at what age and stage of a child’s development one should introduce the idea of hell and damnation, and especially so if parents have no faith. However, scriptural “stories” make no sense without this. The modern emphasis is placed on the love, forgiveness and mercy of God (and rightly so) but children will then naturally ask “forgiveness for what – eating an apple?” Try explaining the Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah or the birth, death and resurrection of Christ without teaching about Satan, evil and sin and its consequences.

    What was this “fundamentalist approach” that was “upsetting children”? Well, it was that if they did not believe in God “they would not go to a good place when they died.” One parent said: “I do know some of the children have been upset by what they have heard. No one minds Nativity plays and Bible stories but considering most of the parents at the school aren’t practising Christians I think the feeling is that it’s all too much.”

    Now, if this is correct, Jack isn’t sure it’s the best approach to the evangelisation of primary school children whose parents don’t believe in God and want their children “protected” from the fear it generates – not to mention a reminder to them of the path they themselves are treading. One cannot be scared into a belief that God loves you. One has to comprehend and experience that love to properly understand it and then understand what stops us from receiving its free offer.

    Jack was raised a Catholic and there was no shortage of warnings about Satan and Hell from the nuns who taught him. But, and it is a big but, for admission to his school one’s parents had to be practicing Catholics who accompanied their children to weekly Mass and who also supported the school in its efforts to share the Gospel. The appropriate awe of God was balanced by loving Christian parents and an general atmosphere of faith, hope and trust in His love.

    • carl jacobs

      most of the parents at the school aren’t practising Christians

      And there you have the root of the problem. If most of the parents aren’t Christian then what are they looking for in a Christian school? Certainly they won’t be looking for discipleship. As their influence grows (through numbers) they will seek to shape the school according to their own vision of what it should be – and by extension what Christianity should be. The administrators will dutifully follow the market.

      What do patents want? They want the environment without the doctrine, the form without the substance. Which is all well and good. Just don’t call it a Christian school.

      Because it isn’t.

      • Ian Oliver

        And of course that mirrors what is going on in the world outside school. We enjoy the Christian inheritance built up over the centuries, but shallow modern man would rather not be challenged or corrected or have limits placed on his self-indulgence. And it becomes more and more difficult to call Britain a Christian country. In the words of Bishop Chartres at Lady Thatcher’s funeral “moral and spiritual
        capital is accumulated over generations but can be easily eroded”.

      • Manfarang

        What do the parents want? A calm atmosphere where the kids can learn science and math so that they stand a good chance later on in life.

      • Crazyfrog

        What are the parents looking for? An education for their child. This is a state school, they probably picked it because it was close to where they live or had good results rather than for any religious reason.

        • dannybhoy

          True, in fact that’s true where we live; there is no other school nearby. But nevertheless it was the CofE the established Church which planted these schools, and it is the Christian faith that inspired their planting. The children aren’t being taught doctrine or theology, just the basics of Christianity.

          • Anton

            If only!

          • dannybhoy

            :0)
            ‘Our’ little’uns come from all sorts of backgrounds, and are not used to seeing men* in the school. Most respond positively especially the boys.** It is a privilege to interact with these children, especially as an older man* who can still remember his* own schooldays, warbling “Glad that I live am I…..”
            *Wot I identify as..
            ** Wot they apparently identify as..

          • Crazyfrog

            That’s true – it’s tricky. But I still think excessive religious input is inappropriate in a state school setting. This kind of in your face religion is not a tradition of the C of E anyway. I bet they wouldn’t have had more than a few Bible stories 100 years ago when these schools were built

        • The Duke of Umberland, England

          Do you know the names and addresses of the complainers?

          • Crazyfrog

            no – why – are you going to go round and tell them off?

          • The Duke of Umberland, England

            Cross-examine.

          • The Snail

            Get your bell, book and candle out and sock it to them?

          • The Duke of Umberland, England

            To ‘sock it to them’, requires them to abandon their cowardice.

        • carl jacobs

          Yes, that’s what I said. They want the benefits of a religious school but they don’t want the religion. So they send their kids there and then seek to conform the school to their own secular image. Form without substance.

          • Crazyfrog

            That’s the uncomfortable situation of state funded schools with religious input. Tax paying parents want to use the best state funded school available to their children. They don’t mind a bit of religious input but don’t want their children to be actively evangelised. The head teacher seems pretty sensible in his decision. As a christian, how would you feel if your local state school was a non church school and they invited the local pagan group in to hold the daily assemblies? There are churches and time at home for people to do their religious stuff

          • Dominic Stockford

            They invite in those I regard as being almost identical to my daughter’s non-denominational secondary school. We keep our distance, and would keep her away if they were going to force her to do something or attend something we objected to strongly – and they know it.

          • James60498 .

            If it was specifically a pagan school, then I would feel incredibly hypocritical in complaining.

          • Anton

            You are essentially right. I speak as a Christian. A voucher system would be fairest.

          • carl jacobs

            If I sent my kids to a Pagan school, I wouldn’t feel entitled to demand the school cease teaching paganism simply because I didn’t like it.

      • Hi

        I can answer . I know of a c of e school in an mostly poor black /Asian area and the pupils are mostly white upper middle-class. The schools are dominated by and large by pushy parents from the upper middle class people who call themselves c of e on forms and know c of e schools produce good grades. They’ll hold their noses and attend church once or twice and whatever just to get Johnny and Bertie into the school you see.

        • dannybhoy

          All parents (should) want the best for their children Hannah, -I’m sure yours did. As a kibbutznik once said to me, “Life is not a picnic my friend..”
          Would you give up your child’s chance of a good education in favour of a child from a less ‘pushy’ background? I doubt it. If you believe in evolution, the “survival of the fittest” etc., you shouldn’t have a problem with this…

          • Hi

            Oh I understand. But doesn’t it grate with the faithful such as yourself with these interlopers coming in and causing a fuss?

          • dannybhoy

            Which interlopers?

          • Hi

            I mean like non Christians trying to get into your tent. Shouldn’t they at least believe in tulip or Vatican two like Carl and Happy Jack ?

          • dannybhoy

            I am against the corrupting of faith values for the sake of multicultural equallity and opportunity if that’s what you mean Hannah.
            Like Israel this nation came to be built on and shaped by Christian precepts leading to a better, freer more just society.
            Multiculturalism seems to mean that those whose heritage failed to produce anything similar are entitled to enjoy the fruits of ours, whilst rejecting or making war on the roots i.e. Christianity.

          • The Snail

            Survival of the fittest means the death of the unfit – I hardly think this applies here.

          • dannybhoy

            Took you long enough to respond.
            But then with a moniker like Snail….
            To lighten your darkness, Danny does not believe in evilution, but many who seek to shape our society do, so logically they shouldn’t have a problem with ‘pushy parents’ because it’s the pushy who survive.

      • Chefofsinners

        It isn’t called a Christian school. It is a Church of England school. It is meant to have a Church of England character.

        • Anton

          So, is the Church of England Christian?

          • Crazyfrog

            Yes, but traditionally it has been a hands off, private type of christianity where what you believe is between your own conscience and God

          • Anton

            I meant today.

          • dannybhoy

            I’d agree with that. It doesn’t matter what you really believe as long as you know how to be polite…

          • Chefofsinners

            That is the root of this problem. Parts of the CoE are manifestly failing to be distinctively Christian. As a result much of society is now ignorant of basic Christian doctrines and when it hears them regards them as extremist.

          • dannybhoy

            The Church of England is Churchian.

        • The Snail

          CofE – could mean almost anything these days.

    • IrishNeanderthal

      From Reflections on the Psalms, by C.S.Lewis, Chapter 4:

      It seems quite clear that in most parts of the Old Testament there is little or no belief in a future life, certainly no belief that is of any religious importance.
      . . . . .
      [future Beatitude or Perdition] are not the right point to begin at.
      . . . . .
      It is even arguable that the moment “Heaven” ceases to mean union with God and “Hell” separation from Him, the belief in either is a mischievous superstition; for then we have, on the one hand, a merely “compensatory” belief (a “sequel” to life’s sad story, which everything will “come all right”) and, on the other hand, a nightmare which drives men into asylums or makes them persecutors.

      • Anton

        CS Lewis was not sound on hell. It will be far worse than separation from God. He also wrote that the gates of hell are locked on the inside, yet people are ‘thrown’ involuntarily into it at judgement (Rev 20:15).

        • Dominic Stockford

          Separation also from God’s grace.

      • Manfarang

        Behold, all these things does God do — twice, even three times with a man — to bring his soul back from the pit that he may be enlightened with the light of the living. (Job 33:29)

    • dannybhoy

      I don’t think children should be taught about Hell until they start asking about it.

      • Agreed …. and only when they are developmentally ready to see it as part of a God’s plan to let us choose Him because He loves us.

        • dannybhoy

          Yes, children are too under developed and fragile to understand the concept of Hell,
          Let alone Purgatory..
          ;0)

          • It’s not fragility – it’s cognitive development. And purgatory they “get” once they comprehend consequences and judgement. Few are perfect and ready after death to meet God face to face.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes cognitive development, which means they aren’t mentally fully formed and therefore vulnerable,
            and therefore (deep breath Danny) … fragile in the face of concepts they can hardly comprehend.
            Stop quibbling!

          • Keep the Ventolin close by when engaging with Jack.

          • dannybhoy

            Danny gave up Ventolin years ago, and moved on to stronger stuff.. (strikes a pose and flexes biceps).
            Seeing as you’re biug and loud and back on the blog, I might need to ask the doctor for tranks…

        • Anton

          Ha! An Irish friend of mine was told when a nun popped out of her class in the early 1960s to “meditate upon death till I get back”. I have no objection to that at all.

          • Ah, that takes Jack back. “Quattuor novissima” – Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell – the four last stages of the soul in life and the afterlife.

            Happy Days!

  • James Church

    After a conversation tonight with our CrossTeach team locally, I have discovered a number of things, 1. they have every sympathy with the Headteacher who they feel has been put in an extremely difficult position, 2. there is a lot of false information about what was or is being objected to, 3. at the root of the problem is one particular parent who largely objected to a lesson in which their child was told that heaven would be better than the best things on earth, 4. other parents have been rallied to the cause with often misleading information. It has been rumbling on for some time with the team often being misquoted or quoted out of context. In all lessons two representatives of the team are there along with a teacher.

    • Ray Sunshine

      Thank you, James. Nothing like getting information straight from the people involved, without having it filtered through Fleet Street. May we look forward to further updates from time to time?

    • Father David

      Thank you for adding sense, facts and reason to this most unfortunate case which is being blown up out of all proportion thanks to one intransigent parent who is the catalyst in bringing to an end 16 years of what, by all accounts, was sound Christian teaching and Bible based stories which, I feel sure, the children in the school greatly enjoyed and learned a lot from.

    • Manfarang

      Wasn’t there any hellfire?

    • Richard B

      Very helpful and thank you James, yet those ‘figures’ don’t quite add up. In view of the publicity and uproar it would be appreciated if the Head explains his actual grounds for capitulation.

    • Richard B

      As I’d blogged about this issue I’ve now updated my readers with your valuable remarks as they’re in the public domain. Thank you again

  • The Duke of Umberland, England

    William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

    THE SECOND COMING

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

  • Hi

    I often get the vibe that people in the comments think you Christians are in retreat or persecuted. But you can still knock door to door and evangelize as I’ve just had. I politely took the magazine and went back to making Hallah for Shabbat .

    • dannybhoy

      Jehovah’s Witnesses?
      Send me some Hallah bread please, I love it..

    • Chefofsinners

      Probably JWs. Just say “Hallah there. Shabbat-a-ya face”.

      • Anton

        A friend of mine experienced a miraculous healing. On her medical notes it says it is inexplicable but that the patient says she was prayed for. She tells this to the JWs as the most effective way to both get them off the doorstep and make them think about Christ as divine. JWs believe that God does not do miracles today so that only Satan does.

      • Hi

        Yes they were. The magazine was about how to survive in a disaster and something about Kazakhstan.

        • Dominic Stockford

          They do not believe Jesus was divine – they are not Christians.

          • Manfarang

            19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:

            20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

          • Hi

            Oh, well they claimed they were Christians. But all I know is they have a thing about blood transfusions.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Yes they do claim that, and an ignorant and lazy media call them that on occasion. But an absolute and non-negotiable essential for being a Christian is that you believe in the divinity of Jesus.

        • dannybhoy

          It was a holiday brochure?

          • Hi

            No it’s a magazine that talks about topics and then gives their spin on them re their religion. There was an informative bit about the new testament and disasters, energy savings and why they believe we should all be pacifists and not serve in any army (complete with biblical passages in support). There was also a checklist of things to have in a disaster , like their bible and stuff.

            Maybe I’m just too diligent in reading these things. But when one promises to read something I do. I do remember reading the Mormon canon from beginning to end, as some over enthusiast missionary gave me a free copy…

        • Manfarang

          Kazakhstan supports international efforts for promoting inter-religious dialogue and tolerance. Every four years, Astana (the capital of Kazakhstan) hosts the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions is housed in the iconic Pyramid of Peace and Accord.

        • Sarky

          Oh no!! You took the magazine!!! Now they’ll be back more times than Arnie.

          • Hi

            Yes they said they wanted to come round again and I said I wasn’t always in , but they said they’d bang my [door] knockers any way…

        • Simon Platt

          Not actual Christians, then.

          • Hi

            So like they said they were Christians ?

          • Simon Platt

            In much the same way as I could say I’m a woman…

            I’m not trying to be funny. The religion that Jehovah’s Witnesses profess is very different from Christianity.

            Now, people on this forum have different definitions of what it means to be a Christian. My own belief is much more widely encompassing than some. I know that you’re Jewish, and therefore don’t have a particular dog in this fight. If you’d like to articulate what you might consider makes a Christian in your terms, I’d be willing to try to persuade you that the Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t qualify (with the perhaps obvious caveat that the criterion must be objective, not, for example, based on what the cult in question clams for itself).

            I apologise if that’s an unreasonable thing to ask you and shan’t be in the least offended if you ignore me.

        • Chefofsinners

          Was there a film crew? You’re going to be in the new Borat film.

  • The Duke of Umberland, England

    Had it been Christians complaining about homosexuality, then their names, photos and addresses would have been in the public domain. They would have been vilified, threatened with loss of jobs and homelessness.

    Their church would have had graffiti daubed on it such as: ‘hater’, ‘bigot’, ‘kill’, ‘crucify’.

    In the 17th century Christian patience was sorely tested and snapped.

    Who are these complainers? What are their names? What are their addresses?

    • Crazyfrog

      Are you a Christian? If so suggest you turn the other cheek and remember that God is Love.

      If not then stop using religion as a reason to hate other people.

      • Anton

        The Duke is simply asking for a level playing field in our democracy.

        • Crazyfrog

          ok, for examples sake, if a group of homosexuals came into a primary school and started to try and turn everyone gay, and some parents did not like it, I doubt those parents would be villified in the way you suggest.

          No one is saying that Christians cannot go about their daily business and do what they want within their own private lives – they just don’t want their children evangelised in a state school. Do you think that villifying these parents is going to make them turn to Christ? What you are suggesting is going to have the opposite effect.

          In this case I think the head teacher is being unfairly criticised for making a difficult decision.

          • carl jacobs

            You are the country with a state religion. It’s not just a state school. It is also (supposed to be) a Christian school.

            “Well, yes, but I don’t want my kids evangelized.”

            So send them to a secular school.

            “But I want the quality education of that school. I just want it to get rid of the religious stuff.”

            So you feel entitled to demand the school change its ethos simply to accommodate you.

            “Yes.”

          • The Duke of Umberland, England

            Admirable, insight.

          • Ray Sunshine

            With your permission, Carl, I’d like to suggest a slight amendment. Change the last line to: “Yes, of course.”

      • The Duke of Umberland, England

        Updated my earlier post. Confident to have ejected Christians; then confident to face public cross-examination?

      • Inspector General

        Need to put you right there, Frogman. God is NOT love. Never has been, you understand.

        Christians say that God is conditional love which is something else.

        We know this because if it was not so, it wouldn’t make sense sending Jesus to tell us just that.

        Do you see now how it works?

        • Anton

          God is love among the Trinity, Inspector. That is the meaning of the phrase in 1 John 4:8.

          • Inspector General

            Interesting, Anton, but would think the souls in torment in hell as per the vision at Fatima might need a little more convincing….

          • God loves us so much He lets us choose to reject Him – essential to the ability to love. To choose God is heaven, to reject him is hell. Why? Because God is the source of all goodness, life, and happiness. If you turn away from Him, you’re turning away from these things too. God doesn’t force us to love Him.

            If you believe in a loving God who allows evil to exist in the world, you can’t deny hell on the grounds that a loving God wouldn’t permit it. If God allows bad things to happen to good people in this life, why shouldn’t he allow bad things to happen to bad people in the next, especially if they choose it for themselves?

            In deciding for or against God in this life, we’re determining how our stories will end, what we’ll finally be. It’s not something which God forces upon us, but what we choose.

          • Inspector General

            Don’t try and put a spin on it, Jack. There’s a good fellow. The miserable truth is that we are designed as disposable items. Christ has offered the better of us salvation. The worst of us face a dismal eternity. A loving God would allow those who have failed to cease to be and evaporate, so to speak, not send them to an horrific destination….

          • A heresy that Pope Francis has been suggesting of late so you’re in good company. Problem is it contradicts Jesus’ own words. Problem is people cannot face the truth of eternal damnation. What a terrible prospect! So they imagine either universal salvation or annihilation of the souls of those who reject God.

            Still, you’ll know soon enough – or not – depending on where you eventually end up.

            [Go to Confession, reject your heresies, receive the Eucharist and say the Rosary regularly]

          • Inspector General

            This is rather naughty, Jack, but when it comes to knowing the end first, of all of us, the big money is on you {Ahem}…

          • Not at all. Jack is sharing 2000 years of Church teaching.

          • dannybhoy

            Rubbish Inspector.
            Your view of God is too narrow.

          • Anton

            I’ve no idea what was seen at Fatima but the descriptions of hell in scripture are terrifying enough and guaranteed accurate. If you think God’s love and God’s condemnation of persons to hell are incompatible then you need to reflect on the sheer utter horror of human sin somewhat more. Your Catholic priest should reliably be able to help you with that one.

          • dannybhoy

            Whatever shape Hell takes Inspector, it isn’t God’s desire that any man or woman ends up there. He does everything possible to bring us to our senses. We enter there out of persistent rebellion..

          • Inspector General

            Let’s try it another way for you, Danny. God so loves us that he arranged hell for those he still loved but not as much as he did the good people.

          • dannybhoy

            As I have said before, I think your concept of God is neither Biblical nor logical.
            God is the Creator of life and the fountain of all that is good and beautiful. Beyond our comprehension, yet knowable through contemplation, surrender and trusting obedience.

          • Inspector General

            Dear Danny. You have the mind of an open and trusting and clueless child. God loves you for that, as indeed we all do.

          • dannybhoy

            If you set out your reasons for your rather cynical and fatalistic viewpoint it would perhaps help understand where you’re coming from.

          • Inspector General

            One has in the past but its passed you by. Anyway, off you go to bed. Big boys need their sleep…

          • Anna055

            “God is love” is not a soft statement. Pure love is a burning, purifying, sometimes terrifying love. Richard Foster (Christian writer) said that he thought that those in hell would recognise it as the most loving place for them to be. That’s probably not very clear………I mean the best place that love could put them. It wasn’t a thought that had ever occurred to me before.

          • Inspector General

            The emotive shouldn’t be associated with God, Anna. God is beyond everything else, logic. God is THE mathematician and the Periodic Table bears witness to that. Now, using logic, if God IS capable of emotive love as found in the OT, then we must face the possibility that God in nature is a collection of supreme entities each with their own version of logic and therefore resulting in emotion of sorts.

            Scary stuff!

          • Anna055

            Yes, I’ve always found the periodic table fascinating ….though I haven’t taken either Chemistry or Maths any further than A level. I disagree about God and emotions though. We are told that we are made in His image, and He made us with emotions, so it follows that His being includes emotions (though of course He is infinitely greater than mere emotions, or indeed mere logic or maths), and part of the way we understand Him is through emotions. However, when I described Him as burning, it wasn’t really meant to be a description of an emotion, more of a fact. Biblically I think that the love (agape) of God is thought of more as a deep seated passionate care for someone (sorry it’s impossible to describe without using “emotion” words) perhaps including, but not limited to a “human style” emotion. A theologian might want to improve on that definition, but it’s how I think of it.

            btw … on the God as mathematician line of thought, did you know that some people think that the Bible in it’s original form (i.e. Hebrew etc.) has precise mathematical patterns ….. or something like that: It’s a while since I came across the idea I’m afraid.

          • Richard B

            Re last para: yes and the Hebrew origin of the Bible makes it more fascinating – even with reference to the recent total solar eclipse! (For brief explanation see https://richards-watch.org/2017/08/21/todays-and-one-month-aways-awesome-events-in-the-heavens/

          • betteroffoutofit

            God is Love by His definition of Love . . . which is Caritas … which is about Goodness and Godly things.
            Mankind’s definitiions of love vary with the individual … but there’s a lot of cupiditas around. That is about love of money (cf 1 Timothy 6:10), and of other worldly or physical things.

            Traditional Christians could claim that, if we choose, our journey through this world will be from cupiditas to Caritas – and so to Salvation. Surely our schools originally participated in such a journey.

      • The Duke of Umberland, England

        Why should I turn the other cheek? What personal injury or (and) insult has been caused to me by the complainers?

        There is no ground for me to turn the other cheek.

      • carl jacobs

        That’s right. The proper way to do things these days is to hate people because of their religion. That’s the socially acceptable attitude. Unless of course its the moderate kind that can’t be seen nor heard. We can just about tolerate that. But extremists and fundamentalists … Why do we even let them breed?

        Oh yeah. Because we don’t want to.

        • The Duke of Umberland, England

          S/he doesn’t seem to understand that there is a difference between that which is in the personal domain, and that which is in the domain of public policy.

      • betteroffoutofit

        You don’t understand the meaning of ‘turn the other cheek.’ In Christ’s time and place, that involved letting the abusers choose to hit you again — but in a way that they would consider defiling to themselves.

        • The Duke of Umberland, England

          She or he, doesn’t seem to understand that there is a difference between that which is in the personal domain, and that which is in the domain of public policy.

      • Jonathan

        Are you a Christian? If not why do you call upon others to adopt something you yourself reject? What right does an atheist have to make any moral demands upon Christians, anyone at all or even him/her self.

  • Inspector General

    Footsteps In The Sand…

    “Lord. I’ve been retracing my steps. You said you would always walk beside me, but I notice one long stretch where there is only one set of footprints”

    “Yes, my son. It is true I said that. But I got so fed up with your continual whining that when I spotted a beach bar I snuck in for a swift pint. Anyway, is there NOTHING you can do on your own without your Creator holding your effete hand?”

    • Chefofsinners

      Looks like Lewis will be driving the Jag home once more. Inspector Worse has been on the ale again.

      • Inspector General

        Bless my hole. Sinning creature has emerged from his. Laid scat, then darted back inside…

        “Ain’t nature grand”

        • You imagery is revealing …..

          [Yes, Jack knows Carl but these things have to be brought into the light]

        • Chefofsinners

          Yes, it’s that familiar sideways sliding feeling beneath your built up shoe. The awareness that the intersection of arse with pavement is imminent dawns a little more slowly than it all happens.

      • carl jacobs

        [Gasp!]

        You have blasphemed the memory of Inspector Morse. Some things are not fit subjects for parody.

        • Chefofsinners

          No reMorse. Je ne regrette rien. Which might be a fit subject for Paradis, or was it Piaf?

          • carl jacobs

            Is this really necessary? Must I endeavor to explain to you the grevious moral fault inherent in your actions?

          • Chefofsinners

            It is a truth universally acknowledged that ‘Endeavor’ is spelt with an -our, you blaspheming Philistine. Particularly when used as the Christian name of the blessed Inspector.

          • carl jacobs

            There was just a touch of frost in that comment, Chef. I do believe I hit a nerve.

          • Chefofsinners

            Fear not. There will soon be a Thaw.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I remain a silent witness to all this.

          • carl jacobs

            you blaspheming Philistine. You defend his honour, and in the same breath you misspell his name. Fie!

            Now, now. I don’t want to have crosswords with you, Chef. I have always considered you a broadchurch kind of guy would accommodate doctrinal differences over things such as spelling. But if you persist I shall have you banned to the hinterland where you can ponder the eternal question “Is there life after Aberystwyth?” My foyle is at the ready, but … must we fight?

          • Chefofsinners

            Yes, alright Carle Jakeobbs, spolling dosnt mutter. Pleese not the hynterland withal those Amerikans.

          • carl jacobs

            Read all about it! Man turns into Scotsman!

            Inspector: – You knew Chef quite well I believe?

            Grapefruit: Oh yes quite well.

            Inspector: Yes.

            Grapefruit: He was my friend.

            Inspector: Yes. And, er, he never showed any inclination towards being a Scotsman before this happened?

            Grapefruit: (shocked) No, no, not at all. He was not that sort of person…

      • Chief Inspector Morse, if you don’t mind.

  • Chefofsinners

    St John’s church in Tunbridge Wells is a thriving, bible-based and Christ-centred. It is just the sort of church which is the hope for the future of the CoE, but is finding itself marginalised by events such as this and other similar trends, both nationally and in the cash-strapped diocese (http://archbishopcranmer.com/why-are-church-commissioners-throwing-more-cash-at-insolvent-diocese-of-rochester/ ). Such a good work will inevitably draw opposition within the town. Pray for the vicar and the parish.

    • Impressive website.

      • Chefofsinners
        • Good response from the vicar. Does this mean this removal of St John volunteers and Crossteach is temporary to restore order to the school whilst the governors get their act together?
          Any idea where this “online campaign” is taking place? These parents are using their children and creating division in the school. Wonder what “demographic” they represent.
          They should do the honourable thing and the governors should invite them to withdraw their children from an environment they judge harmful to their emotional welfare – or shut-up. They’re bringing the school into dispute and exposing the children there to unnecessary public attention and effecting their learning.
          This helps explain the Headteacher’s position. Thank you for posting the link.

    • dannybhoy

      As Jack says impressive website. Funny this, because I came to faith through a similar Kentish CofE not so far away back in the late ’60s.
      God can and does move through the established churches where people are open to the Holy Spirit. Having said that I do think the days of the established Church are coming to and end, and we will see a revival of the early church situation where believers either met in each other’s homes or a rented venue. The sheer cost of keeping these old buildings going drains congregations of time and energy in the search for funding, often diverting attention away from the true mission of the Church. I think the recognition and blessing of gay marriages will help hasten this process.

      • Chefofsinners

        Keep your eyes on this parish over the coming couple of weeks.

        • dannybhoy

          Shall.
          Pssst!
          Should I tell Sid?

          • Chefofsinners

            Events at St Mark’s Tunbridge Wells this weekend, where Peter Sanlon is vicar.

  • theman8469

    I feel that His Grace has completely missing the point, “Traditional Christianity” is extremist. The only Christianity that is acceptable is non-realist, self-deprecating and subject to the whims of atheists, GLBT+ community and feminists. Bye bye Christianity has died in the west.

    • Anton

      Rather, institutional Christianity has. But the church never was the world. And the church will go on, likely into a persecution that will purify it as it so desperately needs.

  • Prayers and good wishes for a speedy recovery for Rev Dr Gavin Ashenden
    who has been incapacitated these last ten days.

    Episode 335 of Anglican Unscripted in which we have his take on the Crossways story.

    • dannybhoy

      Did you know he has a blog Mairie?

      • Yes, but he’s been too poorly to go on the internet.

        • dannybhoy

          I am looking forward to meeting him one day.

  • Chris Bell

    Corporates hate argument. Head teachers are consigned by the Corporate. The Church is Corporate. They all want agreement, eschewing dangerous debate. As ‘the man8469′ rightly says Christianity at its heart is extremist but this is because it is not corporate. Never was. Christ’s teaching are implacably non-corporate and He quite well foresaw that He would be taken by the Corporate to the predestined conclusion.
    So why are we surprised? Clearly the happy-clappy’ apologists for the true Christianity are weaker in their knowledge and faith of Christianity than those ignorant parents who take umbrage at their own culture of Christianity.
    Such is the world of man. It has never been different.

  • Tracey Hayter

    We are living right at the end of the End Times. These issues will continue to become more frequent just as God’s word tells us they will. It is time to make the decision – Who are you going to serve? By caving in to the parents, Dan Turvey has bowed down to satan. I applaud the work of Crossteach and pray they will continue to stand for truth in the face of very real adversity, as the onslaught against biblical Christianity gathers momentum.