Safeguarding Policy

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Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

postheadericon BBC pushing dangerous gender ideology to children

BBC pushing dangerous gender ideology to children

Our national broadcaster is telling children there are “over a hundred, if not more, gender identities now”. This is incredibly dangerous. The nonsensical claim is included in a new BBC Teach video series for 9-12 year olds which is supposed to help teachers “deal with sensitive subjects in an age-appropriate and honest way”. It does neither. The reality is transgender ideology causes pain and suffering. The Daily Telegraph columnist Celia Walden says such ideology is “likely to leave us with a generation of lost, confused and angry young adults asking a question we will find it very difficult to answer: ‘How did you let this happen?”’. She’s right. Listen to what just one has to say about the damage done to her.

Cari’s story

“I’m a real live 22-year-old woman with a scarred chest and a broken voice and 5 o’clock shadow because I couldn’t face the idea of growing up to be a woman. That’s my reality.” Cari Stella was encouraged to transition from female to male as a teenager. But only a few years later she came to see that this was not the solution to her problems. But by then it was too late – irreversible changes to her body had been made. Cari is one of a number of former transgender people whose stories are highlighted by international speaker and author Ryan T Anderson in a video laying bare the shortcomings of the transgender movement. In the video, Anderson explains that although transgenderism only affects a tiny number of people, transgender activists are increasingly making far-reaching demands of us all. They demand that we change what our children are taught in schools is true about sex and gender. They demand we base access to toilets, changing rooms, showers, sports teams and more on ‘gender identity’ rather than biological sex. This allows men to gain access to private female spaces and compete unfairly against women in sporting contests. They demand we affirm transgender confusions with our own words and actions even when we disagree. In New York City, intentionally ‘misgendering’ a person now carries a fine of up to a quarter of a million dollars.

All this for a condition which leading doctors in the field warn is leading to ‘serious. irreversible damage’ being done by our over-eager and misplaced interventions. “No one would suggest that we give a high school girl struggling with anorexia liposuction,” says Anderson. “So why do they suggest we give a high school girl struggling with gender dysphoria testosterone?” Indeed. As he explains, these young people need support to address the underlying causes of their struggles and help them feel comfortable in their body, not adult complicity in reinforcing their confusions. Traditional marriage between a man and a woman is based on the scientific truth that human beings are male and female. This is a reality coded in our chromosomes that cannot be changed. In promoting transgenderism to our children, our schools and politicians are lying to them and stealing their innocence. At Coalition for Marriage we stand for the truth about men, and women, and marriage.

Coalition for Marriage – 10th September 2019

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postheadericon Tens of thousands of children are gambling addicts

Tens of thousands of children are gambling addicts

A new report by the Gambling Commission has revealed that around 55,000 young people, are “problem gamblers”. The report also found that 69 per cent of 11 to 16-year-olds had seen or heard some form of gambling adverts. Tim Miller, Executive Director of the Gambling Commission encouraged parents, teachers and the Government to help protect children.

The Young People and Gambling Survey 2019 estimated that 55,000 11 to 16-year-olds in England, Scotland and Wales would be classified as problem gamblers. The findings also revealed
one in ten young people have received direct marketing from gambling companies on social media.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans, Alan Smith, said the figures showed that tens of thousands of families could be “living in a nightmare”. He added: “A civilised, modern society must not accept this crisis as normal or become content with it.”

The Gambling Commission’s Tim Miller said: “Any child or young person that experiences harm from these areas is a concern to us and we are absolutely committed to doing everything we can to protect them from gambling harms. We have tightened rules and requirements around age verification to prevent children and young people from accessing age restricted products, put free- to-play games behind paywalls, and clamped down on irresponsible products.” He added that it was the duty of parents, charities and Government bodies to work together to protect children and young people from gambling harms.

Earlier this month, researchers in Wales found that almost half of children had gambled in the past ear. Academics at Cardiff University found that 41 per cent of 11 to 16-year-olds in Wales had engaged in some form of gambling activity in the twelve months before the study. Fruit machines in pubs and arcades were the most popular form of gambling. Scratchcards were one of the next most common. Researcher Dr Graham Moore said: “More’ work needs to be done, with policymakers, schools, families and young people, to understand how young people’s exposure to gambling can be reduced”.

Christian Institute”; 25th October 2019

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postheadericon MP urges Britain to return to its Christian heritage

MP urges Britain to return to its Christian heritage

A new MP [November 2019] has used his maiden speech in the House of Commons to defend Christianity, and to argue that it can help to shape Britain for the better.

Danny Kruger, MP for Devizes in Wiltshire, lamented that Britain had moved away from its shared Christian heritage, and said many of today’s problems could be solved by restoring Christianity to the public square.

The former speechwriter to David Cameron raised the issue as he said the notion of identity. would be one which would be. discussed many times during this parliamentary term.

Values

Kruger, who formed a prisoner rehabilitation charity with his wife, said that “traditionally”, British people had had a sense that we are all capable of both great wrong and great virtue.

“And even for those who didn’t believe in God, there was a sense that our country is rooted in’ Christianity, that our liberties derive from the Christian idea of absolute human dignity.

“And today these ideas are losing their purchase.

“So we are trying to find a new set of values to guide us, a new language of rights and wrongs, and a new idea of identity, based not on our universal inner value, or on our membership of a common culture, but on our particular differences.”

‘Inheritance’

Kruger said he is aware that Christianity and the Western past have been stained by’ past violence and injustice, but said he was “not sure we should so casually throwaway the inheritance of our culture”.

He concluded: “As we advance at speed into bewildering world where we are forced to ask the most profound questions about the limits of autonomy and what it means to be human, we may have reasons to look about for the old ways and seek ‘wisdom in the old ideas which are in my view entirely timeless.”

The Christian Institute. 3rd February 2020

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postheadericon ‘Victory for pornographers’ as Government drops age-verification check

‘Victory for pornographers’ as Government drops age-verification check

Strict blocks on children viewing pornography online have been dropped by the Government, after years of delay. Campaigners expressed their dismay at the decision, with The Christian Institute calling it a “big victory” for those who produce pornography. The Government said it still wants to protect children from online harms but will look at alternative solutions.

Credit card checks

Legislation on age-verification was first mooted by David Cameron in 2015. The Digital Economy Act – containing the checks – was passed in 2017 but the checks’ implementation was postponed in April 2018 and in June 2019. Checks would have required users to prove their age using traditional forms of ID such as a credit card or passport. The plan faced questions over how technology could be used to
robustly stop children accessing the material, as well as fears that a database of pornography users could be hacked. The Adam Smith Institute led opposition to the clampdown, claiming it would ‘infringe freedom’ and “reduce access to pornography produced for sexual minorities”.

Warning

Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, said: “This is a big victory for pornographers and the campaign of the Adam Smith Institute. “It’s a warning for Christians about the values of the libertarian right. Their influence could also lead to other radical changes like the legalisation of drugs.

Family values

“As the sociologist the late Norman Dennis pointed out on family values there is very little to choose between the ‘egotistical left’ and the ‘libertarian right’. Significantly the Liberal Democrats also embrace a wide platform of socially liberal values. “They have shifted far from the values of the historic Liberal party which were so influenced by non-conformist Christians.” In 2016 the Lib Dems opposed the measures, and its current stance on drugs includes support for a “legal, regulated market for cannabis”.

Protect

CARE’s Chief Executive. Nola Leach also expressed dismay at the news. And the NSPCC called it “disappointing” while calling for future efforts to protect children to be “robust and effective”. In a written statement, the Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan said the objectives of the Digital Economy Act will be “delivered through our proposed online harms regulatory regime”. The British Board of Film Classification, which was due to oversee the checks, said: “We will bring our expertise and work closely with government to ensure that the child protection goals” of the Act are achieved.

Christian Institute 17th October 2019

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postheadericon Church of England: ’98 per cent of abortions are morally unacceptable’

Church of England: ’98 per cent of abortions are morally unacceptable’

The Church of England has restated its opposition to abortion, saying it is almost always morally unacceptable.

The House of Bishops’ statement came at a meeting of the General Synod, in response to a question by Synod member Andrea Williams, who is also Chief Executive of Christian Concern.

She highlighted that the Church of England has previously said there are ‘strictly limited” circumstances in which an abortion should only be permitted, and asked for clarification on what those circumstances are.

Disability

The Bishop of Carlisle, James Newcome, said the Church’s policy was that “in situations where the continuance of a pregnancy threatens the life of the mother a termination of pregnancy may be justified”.

The law in Great Britain permits abortion after 24 weeks if there is believed to be a ‘serious foetal handicap’. But this is often used to justify abortions for conditions such as Down’s syndrome or spina bifida. It has even sometimes been used to justify abortion for easily treatable conditions such as cleft palate.

But Bishop Newcome said ‘serious foetal handicap’ should be interpreted “strictly as applying to those conditions where survival is possible only for a very short period”.

Morally unacceptable.

On these grounds, Williams estimated that the Church of England considered just 1.7 per cent of abortions to be justifiable.

She said: “The House of Bishops have today made clear that 98% of abortions that take place in the UK are morally wrong. This is a. huge statement and one which the new government needs to address urgently.”

Christian Institute – 12th February 2020

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postheadericon ‘Society can turn against abortion, just like it rejected the slave trade’

‘Society can turn against abortion, just like it rejected the slave trade’

Advocates for unborn children need the compassion, resilience and ingenuity of 19th’ century anti-slavery campaigners to succeed in their’ 2’1 st century work, a writer and journalist has said.

In an article for The Gospel Coalition, US-based writer Gracy Olmstead highlighted how evangelical Christian William Wilberforce and his co-workers used culture to shift public perception eventually leading to the “monumental” .accomplishment of outlawing slavery. Wilberforce’s cheer and harisma drew people to his cause and his faith.

Noting similarities between slavery two hundred years ago and the abortion industry now, Olmstead said, “slavery was an accepted practice; while many believed it was wrong, most were willing to turn a blind eye”.

As a result, abolitionists focused on the cultural, social, and ideological factors that allowed slavery to exist and “turned themselves passionately and primarily to public awareness, cultural causes, and grassroots campaigns”.

Alongside tireless efforts in Parliament to change the law, they used music, poetry, plays and even a boycott of West Indian sugar to slowly turn the tide away from an acceptance of slavery.

“In a world that disdained the goody-two-shoes sincerity of dedicated Christians, Wilberforce’s cheer and charisma drew people to his cause and: his faith.”

Other campaigns on the humane treatment of animals, child prostitution and female infanticide were addressed not to make an anti-slavery stance popular, but because he was “determined to fight oppression, injustice, and suffering in all its forms”.

Olmstead concluded: “If we’re” going to compare the pro-life movement to the abolitionist cause, we’re going to need leaders like Wilberforce”. She added, “we’re going to need tender culture warriors and humanitarians, winsome orators and artists”.

William Wilberforce was born in Hull in 1759. After becoming an evangelical Christian in the 1780s, he campaigned fiercely in Parliament against slavery. It was his effort that led to the passing of the Slave Trade Act of 1807, ending Britain’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade.

In July 1833 – just 3 days before Wilberforce’s death – the Slavery Abolition Act was passed, granting freedom to slaves in the British Empire.

 Christian Institute – 25th January 2018

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postheadericon Bishop calls for ban on Premier League gambling ads

Bishop calls for ban on Premier League gambling ads

 A bishop is challenging the Premier League by calling for betting firms’ logos to be banned from football shirts. The Bishop of St Albans, Right Revd Alan Smith, has tabled a motion in the General Synod to stop children being “groomed into gambling”.

The CofE’s ruling body will debate the motion later this month and decide whether it will put pressure on the Premier League to ban betting companies from becoming shirt sponsors.

‘Groomed into gambling’

Bishop Smith said that banning gambling firms from sponsoring shirts and pitch-side hoardings would help counter the growing numbers of child gamblers. Last month, he called it a “generational scandal” that around 55,000 children in the UK are problem gamblers. Now he adds: “I know families who will not let their children watch football matches on TV because they feel their children are being groomed into gambling.” “We have changed the enjoyment of sport from sport in itself to something that’s to do with money and betting.”

‘Normalising’

.Bishop Smith also warned that the “FA and others need to wake up very quickly to how damaging this is going to be”. He added, the Church’s worry is that “we are as a nation sleepwalking into something by normalising and socialising a whole generation of people with no idea where it might go”.

The motion to be discussed at the General Synod also proposes a mandatory requirement for gambling firms to carry out research into the scale of the problem, and to fund education programmes and treatment for addicts.

Benefits

Bishop Smith indicated the positive effects that a logo ban could have on the sports clubs. “If you think of the values that clubs want to promote in terms of their community role, does a betting sponsor sit four square behind that?    .

“Ultimately a ban could benefit them and their role in the community.”

Christian Institute – 5th February 2019

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postheadericon ‘British values’ agenda criticised by Bishop of London

‘British values’ agenda criticised by Bishop of London

Government efforts to promote ‘British values’ in schools could play a part in turning the State into an “ideologically driven Big Brother”, the Bishop of London has warned.

Speaking on Thursday, the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, raised concerns over
the attempt to “enlist schools in the communication of ‘British values’ as a way of combating ‘extremism”’.

He suggested that the State should support religious freedom, but that it should not pry into everyday affairs.

Big Brother

“The business of the State is to ensure that the living traditions in our pluralist society have space
to flourish without the State itself being drawn into the role of an ideologically driven Big Brother, profligate with ever more detailed regulation”, he said.

In a message delivered at St Paul’s Cathedral, the Bishop touched on the issue of human rights and said that while an “insistence” on individual rights had been valuable, that now needed to be reassessed.

Schools in England have been required to “actively promote” British values since 2014.

Intrusive

Pressure from The Christian Institute, MPs and others forced the Government to issue new guidance to all schools setting out that it is respect for people – rather than their beliefs – that schools need to promote.

However, in its inspections Ofsted have subjected some children in faith schools to intrusive questions.

Now the Government is considering giving Ofsted the power to investigate non-school settings such as church youth work under the Conservatives’ British values drive.

Christian Institute 29th March 2016

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postheadericon Ofsted Head’s comments on The Christian Institute

Ofsted Head’s comments on The Christian Institute

In a speech to Anglican school leaders today about ‘extremists’ who ‘pervert’ education, Chief  Inspector of Schools Amanda Spielman referred to The Christian Institute. As reported on the front page of today’s Times, she said:

“Rather than adopting a passive liberalism that says ‘anything goes’ for fear of causing offence, school leader should be promoting a muscular liberalism.” .

“It means not assuming that the most conservative voices in a particular faith speak for everyone – imagine if people thought the Christian Institute was the sole voice of Anglicanism. And it means schools must not be afraid to call out practices, whatever their justification, that limit young people’s experiences and learning in school.”

Just because you oppose theological liberalism doesn’t mean you also oppose democratic liberalism. There seems to be some confusion here.

Indeed we fear that some Ofsted inspectors will interpret the call for ‘muscular liberalism’ as a call for more aggressive secularism.

We genuinely hope that Ofsted will promote the Great British tradition of democratic liberalism.

At its heart such liberalism means the freedom to disagree.

The Christian Institute which is non-denominational – has been a strong critic of Ofsted. Perhaps that’s why we get a mention. We have disagreed with the way in which some Ofsted inspectors have gone about their work. For example demanding that Vishnitz – an Orthodox Jewish School – should be promoting transgender rights to five-year-olds. Anyone reading that inspection report will see how inspectors can be unhelpfully ‘muscular’.

There have also been cases of unprofessional conduct where inspectors have asked teachers their personal views on same-sex marriage.

Clearly there is a problem of religious literacy.

Social liberalism is a particular viewpoint, whereas the tradition of British liberalism is about the freedom to disagree. Ofsted inspectors need to know the difference.

Please pray for us as we respond to Ofsted.

Pray that the concerns of Christian parents and teachers will be heard.

Thank God that the Government has not backed giving Ofsted power to inspect Sunday schools

Colin Heart – Director of the Christian Institute

1st February 2018

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postheadericon Govt confirms: Ofsted will not inspect churches

Govt confirms: Ofsted will not inspect churches

Churches will not be inspected as part of Government attempts to counter extremism, the Department for Education has confirmed. Under the approach first mooted by David Cameron, any setting which provided instruction to children for more than six hours a week could have been inspected by Ofsted,

But amid strong concerns from groups including The Christian Institute, and critical consultation responses, the Government confirmed it has dropped the plans. Some 18,000-people responded to the call for evidence in total, expressing doubts about Ofsted’s ability to inspect settings such as churches and questioning the vague ‘British values’ definition.

According to the official consultation report, 75 per cent of those who responded using the Government’s questionnaire said Ofsted should not be able to investigate out-of-school settings. “Respondents who disagreed with this question expressed concerns about Ofsted’s capacity, expertise and neutrality in dealing with such settings”, the document said.

Many of those who responded also warned that the “proposed policy would result in the state becoming a regulator of religious teaching”. And respondents said “existing laws are already in place to tackle issues raised in the call for evidence and therefore additional powers are not needed”.

The Government decided “not to pursue the model proposed in our call for evidence”, but instead to “develop further the evidence base for a national approach”. It said: “We believe it is equally important that we ensure any future system carefully takes into account the differences within such a diverse sector”.

In 2016, The Christian Institute, CARE, Christian Concern, Evangelical Alliance and Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship called for the Government to scrap its controversial out-of-school settings proposals. Colin’ Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, said at the time: “Christians are justifiably alarmed at the prospect of Ofsted conducting ‘British values’ inspections of church youth work. “The freedom ‘to proclaim the Gospel, and indeed our wider civil liberties, must be protected, not undermined in the name of ‘counter-extremism’.

 Christian Institute 12th April 2018

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Regular services

Our normal services are as follows, but are not taking place at present owing to Covid-19.

Sundays
8.15: Holy Communion
10:30: Family Worship, communion twice a month
6:00: Evening Service, communion twice a month

Thursday
10.00: Holy Communion

Future Events

All regular services and special events at St.Alban’s have been suspended until further notice. Resumption will be announced when this is possible.