Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Jade Goody

The illness and death of Jade Goody has been culturally significant and the huge media interest has enabled people to journey with her and engage what our own priorities would be had we been diagnosed with a terminal condition.

Though having never been her greatest fan, I have been really impressed and challenged, both individually and in community,about how nearing end she put things right in her life-in terms of spirituality, marriage, baptism and the welfare and future of her sons.

Jade proved that it is possible to have a "good death" but that does not diminish the pain and suffering her family will be going through. All her life she craved affection and fame-it is slightly ironic that that finally came through her brave struggle by being as much as doing.

Making Faith Schools even better

Letter published in Church Times 21/03/09

Dear Editor

I was surprised to see the report in last week's edition in which Jan Ainsworth accused the Liberal Democrats of adopting a "confusing" policy on faith schools.

The party's spring conference in Harrogate saw a detailed and informed debate over education policy, which included discussion of faith schools and their place in the development of cohesive communities. Conference overwhelmingly rejected calls to close faith schools, instead affirming the quality of teaching and the positive ethos which make them so popular and effective and calling for improvements in terms of inclusivity and openness which will enable more pupils, parents, teachers and communities to benefit from them. The new policy has been welcomed by the respected Christian think-tank Ekklesia as a crucial development in the public debate about how to make faith schools better and by Accord as the first political party policy to put the national good above sectarian interests

The Liberal Democrats are proud to be the only major party who trust their members to make policy and whether on conference floor or at fringe meetings, many people from a range of religious faith perspectives or none were able to contribute to this important debate and make policy that is relevant and realistic.

Yours faithfully

Revd Simon Wilson
Chaplain and Press Officer
Liberal Democrat Christian Forum