School Stabbing

It was about 2001 and I had to meet with a parents of a pupil who had brought a knife into school. At the time I thought it was going to be a simple case of telling the parents that we were deeply concerned at the matter and the people would be dealt accordingly at home as well as being suspended from school.

I explained the situation and the parents were completely indifferent. They thought that it was right that their son should bring a knife into school as he was being “picked on” and he did it to protect himself. Even after the meeting concluded and we had explained that under no circumstance should such a weapon be brought on to the premises they still believed that they were right to support their son. It was an appalling situation as the son joined us in the meeting and he looked exonerated. His parents condoned his actions.

I am deeply saddened by the news that a teacher has been stabbed to death in Leeds. But I am certainly not shocked at all at this situation. The rhetoric on news channels to say that schools are ultimately safe place just isn’t true. I believed that this would happen even all those years ago. Let’s hope something good comes of this terrible tragedy. Education is the key response to this.


Good Friday

I have had an interesting day. I decided that I would have a look down at the service in the market place. This is a christian service of witness which takes place each year on good friday. It is begins with a  walk through the main shopping street and ends in the market place. I used to take part in this which I was a church goer a number of years ago. My abiding memory is getting told off by someone for talking while we set off on the walk.


The service end but I had something else planned for the afternoon. Most people know that my education is in religion and I have followed an organisation for a number of years called Hope not Hate. This was set up to counter the extremist groups such as the BNP and others and to educate those about their BNP racist agenda.

During my year in Oxford training to be a teacher I visited various places of worship including two of the main mosques in Birmingham. I have always be interested in religion and thought it was about time I spoke to some muslims about their views of various racist groups and their outlook on the continuing attacks on Islam.

I set up a meeting with someone from the Islamic Diversity Centre in Newcastle and spent time discuss my concerns and getting their perspective on life. It was certainly an interesting discussion. It was good to hear that their work is to break down the various misconceptions about Islam. They regularly speak to various groups in the north east and part of their outreach is to provide services for the homeless and elderly; something even I wasn’t familiar with.


I was given a small gift which contained various literature about Islam. I hope that I will be able to learn more and get to know a few of the muslim population here in the north east. I attend to visit a mosque and hopefully gain more understanding of this religion.

Maundy Thursday

The kids have eaten too much chocolate. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is on again. Stop running around. Did you buy mint sauce? What time does your mother arrive? When does she leave?

When I was growing up I remember once getting a mug with an easter egg in it. It was a Mr Men mug. That was it. Getting past the age of 8 seemed a land mark point that Easter eggs became obsolete.

Hopefully my weekend will be quiet. I might potter around the garden. I think. Don’t know really. I don’t have children that irritate me and I certainly won’t be watching family films we have all seen ten million times.


As a reformed Church of England member (I left) I still take time over Holy Week to reflect on life. I think for anyone who does or doesn’t have a religion or any for of faith that reflecting on your life is important. A lot of people will make choices to change things in their life at New Year. I don’t for the fact that it’s after a time of excesses and partying making life decisions isn’t the best time.


Taking time. Relaxing with music and calmness. I think everyone should have a time that they can reflect on things.


I cannot stand the internet sometimes. I am sure I have said this before. I have spoken about conspiracy theories and the stupidity of some people. I don’t read tabloid headlines or ‘news’ if I can help it as most of it is full of crap. If it’s on the internet then it must be true is some peoples take on life.

The place where I do get my news is from The Times. The only place where sensible debate and quality reporting remains. Before you moan on about it being a Murdoch paper think about how many other media channels are free from people who could be seen as less than suspect. It’s a pick of the bunch.


I support Hope not Hate and their campaign against the vile BNP. Their organisation highlights for me the vomit inducing lies that the BNP produces. If you want conspiracy theories look at the BNP website. I want truth. I don’t mean speculation or supposed theories. They are experts on fracking and global warming. Putting it down to a leftist plot. Never heard such crap.

Maybe I am old fashioned and like the truth and fact rather than tittle-tattle gossip.

Marriage Equality

A friend of mine said that marriage between two people of the same sex would never happen. They were wrong. Today we celebrate with those people in declaring their love for one another in the marriage ceremony. For myself I never thought the possibility of being gay and getting married would ever be even discussed. I said to myself that my time as a church goer would have to come to an end because people were telling me that being an practising christian and taking part in “homosexual relationships” had no place in the church. I knew that my sexuality wouldn’t change. So it had to go.

Here is a video from Christian Concern about their beliefs and opinions.

“Very little debate … and it’s happened so quickly…” – Month of consolation at all levels means nothing obviously.

“This is really a spiritual issue it’s a problem which¬†goes way beyond what we think about the issues” He is implying that this is a direct disobedience on behalf of the people who believe that same sex marriage is right. He feel that this is evil and a sin.

” … we should look to god and say lord this is what’s happening we feel disturbed about it and we don’t really know what to do please help us … please have mercy on us if we have done something wrong if we are praying on behalf of the rest of the nation … ” – what disturbs me about this sentence is the complete arrogance that his man thinks about others in society. He beliefs that the whole nation has gone in the wrong direction and turned away from God’s laws. No other institution should have a say on marriage. One assumes he must think this about death and other major points in peoples lives.

I think it’s sad that the church has taken so much time, effort and notably money in campaigning against same sex marriage. I would like to know what the Rev Andrew Symes has done to campaign and highlight the suffering of the children in Syria? Or the often ignored problem of domestic violence in the UK, where one million calls where made to the police last year reporting domestic violence and two women a week lose their lives at the hands of an abusive partner.

No wonder the established church is in decline despite it’s denial.