Your Say - Wednesday 14 November

Local hero: Steeplejack and TV personality Fred Dibnah was a great Lancastrian
Local hero: Steeplejack and TV personality Fred Dibnah was a great Lancastrian
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Don’t fade out Christian message

It is depressing to learn of yet another round of Government education reforms on teachers, directing them in school assemblies not to put too much emphasis on Jesus Christ but to be more inclusive of other religions, such as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.

This is in total contradiction of a previously issued Educational Circular 1/94 which stated the majority of acts of worship over a term, must be Christian and must contain elements specifically related to the traditions of Christian belief and which accord a special status to Jesus Christ.

No one is suggesting the beliefs of other religions should not taught in religious education classes, where they can be studied for those sufficiently interested. This latest direction, however, is indicative of yet another attempt to downgrade our country’s formerly adopted and centuries old belief in Christianity. As amazing as it would seem, we already have children supposedly ‘well educated’ in our school system, who claim to have never heard of Jesus Christ and ask who he is?

We are all aware church attendance has declined precipitously in recent years and as a result many children are no longer taught in their families these basic Christian beliefs, which is why it is essential schools continue to represent these in morning school assemblies.

I am not a teacher but did benefit from learning about Jesus Christ when young which was reinforced by further learning from scriptures being read in morning school assembly, so can personally testify of its value. In society around us we witness families disintegrating through divorce, children being neglected, abandoned and abused, we can see first hand, the results of society’s general abandonment of Christian values. Many see women today are attempting to usurp the roles of men in pursuing careers, seeking happiness and fulfilment at the expense of their former roles of being married, protecting and raising children. So we should not be removing this essential backdrop of basic Christian teaching which can only be taught to children in school assembly in the absence of declining family instruction and church attendance.

E J Tilley, via e-mail

Top chef needs a taste of real life

Your readers will have found ironic the question posed by celebrity chef, Paul Heathcote, ‘Time for us to slim?’ (LEP November 6).

Not for the first time, Mr Heathcote takes a side-swipe at workers in the public sector.

One can only wonder if he has followed the current television fly-on-the-wall documentary about the emergency services in Blackpool.

If he had, it would be apparent to him, and to the least responsive observer, the dangerous and demanding circumstances which characterise so many aspects of public service employment.

Were he to retire tomorrow, it’s hard to see how Mr Heathcote would justify his lifetime’s work. Only a very privileged few would notice his going.

On the other hand, a few days without the police, fire and ambulance services would result in anarchy.

He is right on one thing: turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. Not many of them vote for cooks either.

Emily Smith via e-mail

Cheery Fred was Red Rose great

I would like to add my vote for Greatest Lancastrian (LEP November 8) to Fred Dibnah having met the gentleman around 1993 at Lostock Hall High School while working as a caretaker.

Fred came to collect a large old wheel from a coal pit head which originally came from the Wigan area and was a feature at the school outside the History Humanities building for many years after it was donated to the school by one of the history teachers.

Fred came with his stock in trade oily flat cap and none too clean jacket and we loaded it on to his vehicle. I remember how short in height he was and his broad accent.

I was fascinated after watching his television programmes how he got the ladders to stick to the tall factory chimneys.

He spent a few minutes explaining that each section was roped together one on top of each other after the lower one was fixed by hooks through the mortar of the chimney.

Wow what nerve required to scale those heights!

David Johnstone, via e-mail