from the Editor ... Welcome to our February edition of ‘Crosstalk’. This month's magazine has the theme of Law and Justice. When we were planning we were amazed at the complex sets of laws and rules we have about us all the time, so that hopefully we can live more fairly together. Think about the laws of the road, maritime and aviation laws, and our wonderful British habit of queueing which we have developed and accepted as a just way of behaving towards one-another. And, of course, justice is also a vast and unwieldy topic stretching right back to the beginning of man’s interaction with man. In our magazine we have one or two examples of the way in which justice is meted out. We all have our own views on this but if we really believe the commandments, we live in forgiveness of one another. Both law and justice are relevant to our call to live as God asks us to do. Loving and respecting our neighbour is at the heart of God's message to us, and we saw so many wonderful examples of this over the last Christmas season.
We see it in everyday acts of kindness, like people helping each other in the floods. And we see it on a bigger scale across the nations. I hope that you were able to get to church at some point over Christmas, if this was your wish, as so many people worked together to welcome first-time or returning visitors to church. Hopefully this year we can encourage you to come and join us if you would like to. You will find a warm welcome at St Giles', St Cuthbert's and St Mary's. Please say hello to one of us and mention that we invited you through the magazine. With love and God Bless,
The Vicar Writes “So do you really believe it?”
If you were in church at Christmas you might have heard me tell the story about the journalist who had written enthusing about Church of England carol services, because you can go and have a good sing and not worry about having to believe any of it! But he had then asked his nice local vicar whether he really believed any of it, and his kind intelligent liberal community-focused local vicar had blown his mind by simply saying, “yes”. And I said to folk then, if you ask me in a simple way for a simple answer to the question, “Do you really believe it?” [whatever “it” is] I would say “yes”. This is not to say I believe simplistically. At least I hope not. I recognise that trusting in a loving God in our world of so much suffering and puzzle is not straightforward. So I have to think about “it”. My theological training forced me to think harder than I had ever thought in my life before – and I came to theological college with two degrees already, silly man. I also have times when I struggle emotionally to believe “it”. When either I see or listen to some account of apparently meaningless suffering, or the world just looks to be a godless, loveless and empty random place. There is always space to think about “it” but in essence “it” is simple. Think of a table. Think of the many different ways in which you can examine a table – its style, the history of the style, the beauty of the style, the stuff it is made from, where the stuff came from, the atomic structure of the stuff, the purpose of the table, what is it for etc etc ... There are, I am sure, libraries of books about tables and this is valuable thinking. But it is also true that a table is a flat surface, supported on legs, that I can put my cuppa on. “Simples” as the Meerkat says. And I live in that simple reality, that God is real and is more important than anything. Again I don’t say for a moment that I do that perfectly, or even well. But I do live in a God-shaped world. I really do. I did not become a priest and then a vicar cos it was well-paid (it isn’t), or cushy (it isn’t), or even gives me status (not any more). I did it because I thought this was what a real God was asking me to do and when the Church checked that out, amazingly, it agreed with that sense of call. What am I getting at? I guess I am wanting to suggest that you ask yourself the question at the beginning of this new year: “Do I really believe?” Partly because (often for good reasons) we don’t like talking about “religion” in England and partly because (often for good 3
reasons) we think that faith is more about being good than about what we believe; we may not stop to ask ourselves what we really believe. Whether we do indeed really believe “it”. There are two downsides to not having this conversation with ourselves. The first is that we live with unspoken doubt and that simply sucks the life out of faith. The second is that this inoculates us against letting ourselves really meet God. If we are not really sure that God is there and don’t allow ourselves to check this out, we will end up in that most miserable of places – half believing and half not believing but Rev’d Canon Dr Alan Bartlett not being able to admit it. Vicar of St Giles’ and Priest in Charge of St Cuthbert’s and St Mary’s
So can I invite you in 2016 to think about what you really believe? And then do something about it. Your friend and vicar
Alan Vestry Hours
At St Giles’ if you wish to book a Baptism (Christening) or Wedding, or to have your Banns of Marriage called, please come to the Church on FRIDAY evenings between 6.00 and 7.00pm
Enquiries regarding Baptisms, Weddings or calling of Banns for both St Mary’s and St Cuthbert’s should be made by calling at St Mary’s Vestry on TUESDAY evenings between 6.00 and 7.00pm
Edith Jackson Trust Christmas Quiz 2015 - the answers to the 2015 quiz are below. The winner is Margaret Macdonald from St Giles who was selected at random from several highest entries containing 48/50 correct answers. Congratulations Margaret! And well done to everyone who entered .... there were some tricky clues this year! 1 leap frog; 2 rabbit in headlights; 3 the Beatles; 4 bird's eye view; 5 whale of a time; 6 one horse race; 7 scape goat; 8 brown owl; 9 snail mail; 10 cry wolf; 11 wild goose chase; 12 bull's eye; 13 take the bull by the horns; 14 sick as a parrot; 15 beavering away; 16 tiger lily; 17 pig sty; 18 fly on the wall; 19 Lost your appetite and found a horse's; 20 drowned rat; 21 donkey work; 22 piggy bank; 23 pony tail; 24 book worm; 25 can't teach an old dog new tricks; 26 cat’s got your tongue; 27 pig's ear; 28 eagle eyed; 29 the elephant in the room; 30 bull in a china shop; 31 memory like a goldfish; 32 turtle neck; 33 wolf whistle; 34 teddy bears’ picnic; 35 crab apple; 36 Dickie bird; 37 a leopard can't change its spots; 38 monkey around; 39 spider plant; 40 take to it like a duck to water; 41 I smell a rat; 42 an elephant never forgets; 43 Monty Python; 44 the very hungry caterpillar; hen's teeth; 46 Mousetrap; 47 Given seal of approval; 48 curiosity killed the cat; 49 slothful or sluggish; 50 hog
Bits and Bobs from the Vicar .... It was Christmas We say public “thank-yous” in our church services but this is a chance to say a “thank-you” in print to all those who make our Christmases in our churches go well. To (in no particular order!): musicians, service planners and leaders, admin, caterers, sidespersons, those who work with our children and young people, Wardens, licensed colleagues, flower arrangers, cleaners. I don’t think have I forgotten anyone but if I have it is not deliberate. Christmas in church would not happen without all these people working very hard. So “thank you”. Nb in the old days, the CofE required its members to receive communion at least 3 times a year, one of which was Christmas. It was not a very high standard! But would we reach it? Esther Not our Parish Administrator (this is getting confusing!) but Esther the book of the Bible. By the time you read this we’ll be nearing the end of our preaching and Bible study series on Esther. So far, so very good. The reason we run these preaching and Bible study short series is to keep us fresh in our discipleship, so that we can learn how to see and understand God better. There will be more to come after Easter…
on a Wednesday afternoon from 2-3.30 and in St Giles’ on a Thursday evening from 7.30 till 9. Anyone from any of our churches can come to any of these groups. We will put up sign-up sheets soon. Don’t miss out! Annual Church Meetings Yes it’s that time of year again! Sherburn and Shadforth APCM is on Sunday 13 March after a 10am service at St Mary’s. NOTE CHANGE. St Giles’ APCM is on Sunday 10 April at 11.15 (or as soon as possible thereafter). To help prepare for this would all those who wish to make a report of their group’s activities please get their reports to the PCC Secretaries asap. In any event no later than Sunday 28 February. As well as our chance as church communities to take stock of what we have been doing and where we hope to go, there will also be vacancies for membership of our church councils. This is where accountability is held in our churches, so if you want to make a difference, this is where to get involved.
To stand for election or to vote you have to be on the electoral roll of the church (our membership list). The current ones will be posted on our Lent church noticeboards soon. It is up to …but in the meantime, during Lent we you to check that you are on there and will be thinking together about that we have your full details. (Every Hospitality. We have a little course year we ask people to include phone produced by a group called Unlock numbers and e-mails…if you don’t which will help us think about how God supply these and you need a visit, YOU is hospitable to us and how then we might be hospitable to our communities. MAY NOT GET ONE!) If you need an application form, please contact our It is fun and not booky. We will be Electoral Roll Officers. meeting three times a week: In St Mary’s on a Wed morning after the … and who are they I can hear you ask? midweek communion; in St Cuthbert’s 5
Well if you read the inside front cover of our parish magazine you will see all our relevant officials’ details. Nb I am surprised when people ask me for phone numbers or e-mails for such
people, when they are there every month. A little bit of observation saves the Vicar precious time and keeps his blood pressure down!!
Forthcoming Events in Brief .... Date
7.00pm for 7.30pm
Messy Church at St Mary’s ‘Money Talk’ at Carrville Methodist Church Messy Church at Ludworth
7.00pm for 7.30pm
St Mary’s Mothers’ Union
Beetle Drive at St Mary’s
9.30am - 12 noon
28 February 13 March 10 April 14 May
Valentine Event at St Cuthbert’s
St Mary’s Coffee Morning Sherburn Village Community Centre Children’s Society Box return date
after 10.00am service
APCM at St Mary’s
APCM at St Giles’ Fashion Show at St Mary’s
St Cuthbert’s and St Mary’s Services in February .... 7 February 9.00am 10.45am Gospel for the day 10 February Gospel for the day
Sunday next before Lent Sung Eucharist at St Cuthbert’s Sung Eucharist at St Mary’s Luke 9. 28-36 Ash Wednesday John 8. 1-11
14 February 9.00am 10.45am Gospel for the day
Lent 1 Sung Eucharist at St Cuthbert’s Sung Eucharist at St Mary’s Luke 4. 1-13
21 February 9.00am 10.45am Gospel for the day
Lent 2 Sung Eucharist at St Cuthbert’s Sung Eucharist at St Mary’s Luke 13. 31-end
28 February 9.00am 10.45am Gospel for the day
Lent 3 Sung Eucharist at St Cuthbert’s Friends and Family Service at St Mary’s Luke 13. 1-9
6 March 9.00am 10.45am Gospel for the day
Mothering Sunday Sung Eucharist at St Cuthbert’s All-Age Eucharist at St Mary’s Luke 2. 33-35
Regular Activities at St Cuthbert’s and St Mary’s Tuesdays 6.00-7.00pm Wednesdays 9.00am 9.30am 6.30pm Fridays 7.00pm - 8.30pm
Vestry Hour at St Mary's Morning Prayer at St Mary’s Holy Communion at St Mary’s Holy Communion at St Cuthbert’s SCUFFS Youth Club at St Cuthbert’s
St Giles’ Church Services in February ... 7 February 8.00am 10.00am 6.00pm Gospel for the day
Sunday next before Lent Holy Communion Service of the Word Evening Prayer Luke 9. 28-36
10 February Ash Wednesday 10.00am Holy Communion 7.00pm Evening Service at St Oswald’s Gospel for the day John 8.1-11
14 February 8.00am 10.00am 6.00pm Gospel for the day
Lent 1 Holy Communion Sung Eucharist Evening Prayer Luke 4. 1-13
21 February 8.00am 10.00am 6.00pm Gospel for the day
Lent 2 Holy Communion Sung Eucharist Evensong Luke 13. 31-end
28 February 8.00am 10.00am 4.00pm Gospel for the day
Lent 3 Holy Communion Sung Eucharist 4 for All Luke 13. 1-9
6 March 8.00am 10.00am 6.00pm Gospel for the day
Mothering Sunday Holy Communion All-Age Service Evening Prayer Luke 2. 33-35
Regular Activities at St Giles’ Morning Prayer in Church 8.45am Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri - all welcome Holy Communion in Church every Wednesday at 10.00am Little Lights in Church every Tuesday and Thursday 9.30am - 11.30am Bereavement Drop In every Friday 10.30am to 12 noon 1st Saturday in month: Coffee morning 10-11.30am 1st Wednesday in month: Broth & Bun Lunch 12 noon - 2.00pm 2nd Wednesday in month: Mothers’ Union 2.00pm (except July/August) 2nd Thursday in month: Lunch Club at 12 noon at Queen’s Head Last Sunday in month: 4forAll 4.00pm
.... at St Mary’s and Ludworth Jesus, the Light of the World We have begun 2016 with a new series - Who is Jesus? and this month we looked at the verse in John 8 ~ Jesus said 'I am the Light of the World'. We thought about darkness and how that makes us feel before introducing the verse and talking about Jesus being the Light of the World. We played a game to illustrate that following the Light is better than being in darkness. We made candles out of paper and card, out of Lego and stickle bricks and even edible candles (using hot dogs, cream cheese, Ritz biscuits and tomato ketchup)! One group of children even went on a candle hunt around the church. How many candles do you think they found? As always, there was a lot of mess and laughter during our Messy Church. We hope that you will be able to join us next month for even more fun and mess at St Mary's on 2 February at 3.30pm and at Ludworth School on 9 February at 3.15pm. .... and at Sherburn Hill Seventeen children attended in November when our theme was Noah. The afternoon started with juice and biscuits, followed by tabletop and parachute games. The story of Noah and the Ark was read and this was followed by a questions and answers about the story. During the craft session, the children made either a dog or a sheep. Before the delicious tea, Messy Grace was said and everyone sang ‘Oh, oh, oh, how good is the word?’ 9
News from St Cuthbert’s .... St Cuthbert’s 150 Club November 1st B Dodd 2nd W Bell 3rd Linda (Mr Hardy)
A Special Christmas Event
164 51 78
Many, many people today St Cuthbert’s 150 Club have either December forgotten or never even 1st G Scanlon 94 give the true 172 2nd R Ravanelli 3rd J Stockmeaning of 61 a Thank youChristmas for your support second thought. In order to hopefully help focus on the true meaning, the congregation at St Cuthbert’s were asked to bring into church any Nativity set which they might own. The end result was astounding. More than 30 sets were collected and displayed and not one was the same. There were sets from all around the world, from countries such as Italy, Bangladesh, Peru, Japan, Austria and The Philippines as well as Britain. There were hand carved wooden figures, some made from banana skins, porcelain, crystal, wool, resin, bronze, paper and cardboard. The history of the scene was explained and the sets beautifully displayed by Rose Rogers with help from others. As one member of the congregation said, “Every one is different, but they all convey the same message.” Let us hope this event will leave a lasting memory. 10
St Cuthbert’s Church Valentine Event On Saturday 13 February there will be an evening of musical nostalgia from the 60s with Jack and the Lad. The doors open at 7p.m. for a 7.30p.m.start. This event will include a sing-a-long and Valentine raffle. Bring food to share. Plates, tea and coffee will be provided. Entrance is £3.00. Why not bring the family?
Annual Box Opening This is a special request from Kathleen Gilson. I will soon be opening the House Boxes for 2016 and would be grateful if you could bring them along to Church to enable me to empty them. The closing date for the year will be 28 February. I will be pleased to collect your box at a convenient time to yourself if you are unable to leave it in the Church. Thank you.
Ludworth Community Centre - regular events
Mondays Mondays Tuesdays Wednesdays Wednesdays Thursdays Fridays
10.00-11.30am 7.00-8.00pm 7.00pm 4.00-5.15pm 6.00-7.15pm 10.00-11.30am 6.00-8.30pm
Mothers and Toddlers Pilates British Legion Arts and Crafts Bingo Mothers and Toddlers Youth Club
News from St Mary’s .... St Mary’s Number Draw November 1st 2nd
M Clayton D Coulthard
No 95 No 2
St Mary’s Number Draw December 1st 2nd
M Lawton Rev E Tarren
No 34 No 15
St Mary’s Coffee Morning Sherburn Village Community Centre
Saturday 27 February 9.00 – 11.30am
Tea, coffee and bacon butties Come along for a cuppa and a chat
St Mary’s Christmas Fair A big thank you to everyone involved with our Christmas Fair on 28 November 2015. A magnificent £1,537.00 was raised for Church Funds. 12
Mothers’ Union Next meeting 2.00pm on Monday 15 February when our speaker will be Claire Wakefield.
Beetle Drive Pizza, Cake and Raffle Tuesday 16 February 7.00 pm Tickets £3.00 on sale now
Mini – Minors Monthly Toddler Group 10.30am Wednesdays 3 February and 2 March with crafts for parents and tots
Fashion Show Saturday 14 May
The show in October of last year was a great success and we have received several requests for another. So we hope you will support us once again in our appeal for new and good quality pre-loved clothing and accessories in readiness for this event Tickets £ 5.00 ~ includes refreshments 13
News from St Giles’ .... Carols round the Crib: The carol/crib service together with nativity play “The Grumpy Shepherd” was led by Rev’d Richard who gathered the children round him at the chancel steps. Helen narrated the story from the pulpit so that we could all hear what was happening. Jen Moss directed everything (and sang) at the lectern. She was also scene/props shifter, keeping things going. Andrew was the grumpy shepherd and he certainly made a good job of it as his grumpiness was spot on – his ‘mutterings’ as he ‘travelled’ up and down the aisle so real. During the service we had prayers and lots of singing, and the Posada figures were brought to the front by children in the congregation, which made us feel quite emotional. The nativity scene was excellent; we had a ‘host’ of angels, shepherds and of course Mary and Joseph. (Lots of 4 for All children took part and they were all splendid!!!) I have to say, on a personal level, I have never seen the church so full for this service – so many children, parents, grandparents, friends and neighbours – it was a truly fitting way to lead us all into Christmas Day. I must say “Well done” to everyone who took part in any small way. Thank you for making our Christmas service around the crib so special. Richard gathered all the children around him for final prayers and the singing of “Away in a manger.” Jen Kell PS I’m not going to say “You should have been there.” YOU WERE THERE!
Broth & Bun Lunch at St Giles’ first Wednesday of every month in St Giles’ Church Hall from 12 noon ‘til 2pm Come along to our free lunch – a bowl of broth with a bun and a cup of tea. Plenty of time to sit and chat.
The next lunch will be on: Wednesday 3 February We’d love to see you there 14
Archbishop Janani Luwum, a 20th Century martyr Our magazine has looked at the lives of many saints over the past five years; some lived in the early years of Christianity and others have, through the ages, been an inspiration both to their fellow Christians, and to those of other faiths. One 20th Century martyr is Janani Luwum, a Ugandan who was born in East Acholi in 1922. His family was poor, so Janani had to help on the family farm until there was enough money to send him to school; he was ten at that time. He studied hard, gained a place at a teacher training centre and became a primary school teacher. At the age of twenty-six he became a Christian and went on to become a lay reader and eventually a priest, in 1956. He showed strong commitment and great leadership skills, and after a period of study in Canterbury he taught at a theological college in Uganda. Further study in the UK saw him return to be Principal of that college, in Buwalasi. In 1969 Janani Luwum was consecrated Bishop of Northern Uganda; in 1974 he became Archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda and Boga-Zaire. These were difficult times in Uganda as Colonel Idi Amin had overthrown the government there and was heading a military dictatorship with a reputation for dealing harshly with any opposition. Thousands of people who were seen as a threat to the regime were arrested, tortured, killed. The Archbishop frequently intervened in defence of these victims and was not afraid to face the military leaders in appealing for their release. His actions and forthright approach led to tensions between Church and state, so the Archbishop consulted with other religious leaders and agreed to ask for talks with Idi Amin so that they could voice their concerns, but he was rebuked by the President and told to keep his nose out. This was not an option for Janani Luwum. He continued to press the authorities saying “I face daily being picked up by the soldiers. While the opportunity is there I preach the Gospel with all my might, and my conscience is clear before God that I have not sided with the present Government which is utterly self-seeking. I have been threatened many times. Whenever I have the opportunity I have told the President the things the churches disapprove of. God is my witness." The regime was not going to take much more of the Archbishop’s approach. On February 5 1977 his house was searched for weapons and on 16 February the Archbishop and six bishops were on trial for arms smuggling. The Archbishop was not allowed to speak during the proceedings and the result was a foregone conclusion. In a scene reminiscent of Christ’s own trial before Pilate, President Amin asked the crowd what was to be done with these ‘traitors’. The crowd replied loudly “Kill them!” The next day it was announced that Archbishop Luwum had been killed in a car crash. However, witnesses who saw the body said it was riddled with bullet wounds and he had also been shot in the mouth. A memorial service for the Archbishop was held in Westminster Abbey on 30 March 1977 and a statue to this modern martyr, unveiled in July 1998, stands above the west entrance to the Abbey. He is commemorated on 17 February, the day of his death. PAM 15
The Ten Commandments Because God loved Israel, God spoke to them, and told them how He wanted them to live – for their own good. That is the basic idea behind a lot of the Old Testament laws. Christians sometimes feel that the Old Testament God was an angry individual, out to stop everyone having fun. They prefer Jesus. I think Jesus would not have recognised that description. Rather: the God of the New Testament is the same God as the God of the Old, and is still concerned with how we live: for our own good, and for God’s glory. And it is still all about love. The ten commandments are one key way that God spoke to (and loved) Israel. You can find them in the second book of the Bible, Exodus. The book of Exodus tells how Israel was released from slavery in Egypt, and crossed the sea, and came into the desert where they would begin a pilgrimage to a promised land. But one of the first things that happens is a mighty encounter with God on Mount Sinai, where Moses goes up the mountain to receive these ten commandments, famously carved on tablets of stone. You can read them in Exodus chapter 20. (They are sufficiently important that they are written a second time, in the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 5. ‘Deuteronomy’ means ‘second law’: it is basically a book that repeats and develops the laws, applying them to lots of different situations.) They are known as ‘the ten words’ in the Old Testament itself – ten words that God gave to help the people of Israel to live 16
rightly. The first word is more of a recognition than a commandment: ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt … [so] have no other gods before me’. That is like a version of how a husband and a wife love each other and ‘forsake all others till death do us part’. The rest of the ten commandments talk about different aspects of the life God has given us. I think it is helpful to see the ten commandments not so much as a law code, but more as a framework for thinking about life. The last commandment is all about not coveting: not wanting what your neighbour has. This is about the attitude of the heart. Can you imagine a law that legislates for that? Not really. It is quite similar to the way that Jesus spoke: living for God is partly about what you do, ‘in public’, but what you do in public flows out of what is going on in the heart. That’s another New Testament idea that comes straight from the Old Testament. (‘Love your neighbour’ was also part of the Old Testament law: see Leviticus 19:18.) Other commandments include: not stealing; not committing adultery; not ‘murdering’, though traditionally that was translated ‘not killing’, and it is hard to know how far it was meant to prohibit all killing. There certainly was plenty of killing in the Old Testament: the world was every bit as violent as our own today. Some take a bit of understanding. ‘Do not take the name of the Lord in vain’, the King James version famously said. Today you are more likely to read ‘You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord’.
It is about not invoking God’s name to bless actions that do not glorify God. There is also the Sabbath commandment: to keep one day in seven holy. That may or may not mean ‘do no work on Sunday’. But it does mean that we should stop and devote time each week to God.
The ten commandments are designed to be life-giving for us. Read them again (in Exodus 20), and pray that God will show us again how to live, in response to God’s loving word. Rev’d Richard
Jesus and the Commandments We have just read about God’s commandments to his people from Rev’d Richard, and the commandments theme continues throughout Jesus’ ministry and in the writings of the New Testament. It was God’s constant call to his people to learn to live in love with Him, and the commandments he gave to Moses were guidelines for them. They were a way through which the goal of loving God and living harmoniously together and in relationship with God could be achieved. But we know, as we have read through the story of Israel in the Old Testament, that the commandments became more of a stricture than a structure; people were at pains to prove their own worthiness by using them as a measure of how holy they were. This took them away from the simple spirit of these laws. So the laws lost their focus on the goodness and well-being of others, and became ever more complicated because of the way people interpreted them. Jesus wants us to rethink the message of the old commandments. John’s Gospel (1:17) says “The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came from Jesus Christ”. Jesus gives us a new perspective on God’s commandments to Moses. This enabled his followers to understand more clearly that the old commandments were about a way of living in a loving relationship with God. It could only be possible to keep the old commandments by following Jesus’ new invitation to love God and to love one another. And this is the most demanding way we could ever be called to live. It sounds so easy and yet it brings us face-to-face with our human nature which is often focussed on the self rather than one another and God. In Matthew’s Gospel (5:43) Jesus said to his followers “You have heard that it was said ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy’ but I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of 17
your father in heaven”. This shows us what a difficult request it is; we are asked to love our enemies. The two letters of John, towards the end of the New Testament, also explore this commandment of Jesus. John writes “Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning: the old commandment is the word you have heard .... whoever says I am in the light while hating a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Whoever hates another believer is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go”. Jesus’ message is to refresh the commandments which God gave to Moses in a way which eliminates the human interpretation, and throws a sharp light through to the simple truth of them. Let us love God and love one another.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Before the end of WWII, the Allies had agreed that they were fighting to preserve the right of all people to the Four Freedoms which had been outlined by the United Nations: the freedom of speech, the freedom of religious beliefs, freedom from fear and the freedom from want/poverty. After the German atrocities became known, it was agreed that these rights needed much greater detailed definitions. Eleanor Roosevelt chaired the committee that was commissioned to draft a Bill of Human Rights. There were eighteen members on this committee from different nationalities and different political persuasions. On 10 December 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was officially adopted and agreed to, by the United Nations General Assembly, as a common standard which all peoples and all nations should try to achieve, to maintain and to protect. Forty-eight countries voted in favour, none against and there were eight abstentions*. No legal status was given to the Declaration until 1976 when it became International Law. UDHR is now the most translated document in the world, and can be read in 466 different languages. “…it immediately brings to us a sense of the world’s diversity; it is a rich tapestry with so many different languages and peoples. But, at the same time, it shows 18
that all of us, in our different forms of expression, can speak the ‘common language of humanity’, the language of human rights, which is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” (Mary Robinson – former High Commissioner for Human Rights) Eleanor Roosevelt stated that UDHR “…may well become the international Magna Carta of all men everywhere.” Pope John Paul II (now Saint John Paul II) (5/10/95) called UDHR “one of the highest expressions of human conscience of our time”. The Declaration is made up of THIRTY ARTICLES. Many of these we take for granted in the Western World: all humans are born free and equal in dignity and rights (Article 1), no discrimination on grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political ideas (Article 2), no one shall be held in slavery (Article 4), no one shall be subjected to torture, or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Article 5), all are equal before the law (Article 7), everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution (Article 14), everyone has the right to education (Article 26). These examples give a flavour of the basic rights accorded to every human being. All the rights that are outlined in the Declaration are seen as interrelated, interdependent and indivisible. This means that any improvement of one of the rights facilitates the advancement of the others in any given country. And conversely, the deprivation of one right adversely affects the other rights within any country. What a pity that many of these fundamental rights are denied so many people in the world! One area that is now being considered for inclusion within the Declaration is that of the environment and the maintenance of a healthy planet. *Abstentions: Saudi Arabia did not agree with Article 18 – ‘everyone has the right to change his/her religion/beliefs’ and Article 16 – ‘men and women have equal rights to enter into marriage, equal rights within the marriage and equal rights to dissolve the marriage’. South Africa wanted to protect its system of apartheid. It was suspected that the Soviet Bloc abstentions were due to Article 13 ‘right of citizens to leave their countries’, although they claimed it was because the Declaration did not condemn far enough Fascism and Nazism.
Restorative Justice Although the concept of putting right what has gone wrong is nothing new, from the end of the 1990s, the use of Restorative Approaches within the Justice System has become much more widespread. One of the biggest researchers and advocates of this approach is the American Criminologist, Howard Zehr (right), who from the late 1970s started to develop these approaches. Restorative Justice is defined as “a process to involve, to the extent possible, those who have a stake in a specific offence and to collectively identify and address harms, needs and obligations, in order to heal and put things as right as possible". The move towards Restorative Approaches has been driven by several reasons; community involvement in the justice system, a better understanding of the “Victim Grieving Process”, the drive to cut costs and value for money and its proven track record in reducing re-offending. Restorative Approaches are now used by the Police, Probation Services and Prisons to help offenders examine and understand what they have done wrong but also, and more importantly, give them the chance to explain and make amends towards their victims – quite often face to face in a controlled environment. We must also remember that custody and the judicial process as a whole is massively expensive and doesn’t always meet the needs of the victim – with one of the main criticisms being that it is all too offender-focused. Think about the last time you were a victim – not necessarily of a crime, but it could’ve been when someone did something nasty to you or was hurtful or inconsiderate. How did you feel? What did you think? How did you cope? You will probably have felt emotions such as ANGER, FEAR, VENGEANCE, UNCERTAINTY and CONFUSION. The difference with a Restorative Approach is that it can deal with the psychological and emotional harm as well as the physical damage, pain and loss that goes with being a victim. This is called the Victim Grieving Process and varies depending on the seriousness of the “harm caused” and how personal it is to the victim. So what does this actually mean? Well, let us take the example of a house burglary. Someone has broken into your house and taken some of your most prized and sentimental possessions. If you were unlucky enough for this to happen to you – you would be rightly upset by it. Think about what you would ask the offender if you could meet them face to face … because this can be part of a Restorative Approach. Crime victims who have subsequently met the offenders can ask the questions and this can, psychologically, help them to deal with the hurt and anger more effectively and more quickly, aiding their recovery from the event. For the offender, and believe me this is no soft option having watched numerous of these meetings, it gives them the chance to apologise in person, but more importantly, has a hard impact on 20
them by forcing them to confront the harm they have caused. With 61% of offenders stating they found the process tough and around a 14% reduction in reoffending, it certainly has to be worth a try – especially when 85% of victims found it useful. In reality, a lot of low level harm and offending can be dealt with by a Restorative Approach: the youngster who has damaged a fence, coming back to mend it and explain to the householder why they damaged it; the drunken female in the street hurling abuse at pub staff could apologise to them and take steps to address her alcohol misuse as part of the Restorative Approach. There are so many ways this can be used, but the overriding principle is that it is centered on the victim and it is the offender who must make the amends. So is this available in County Durham? Well the simple answer is yes. Durham Constabulary has been at the forefront of Restorative Approaches in the UK and is currently working with Cambridge University on other schemes to address offender behaviour and reduce offending. Over the past five years I have had the privilege of being involved with supporting victims of crime. Firstly, I led the Victim Contact project whereby Durham Constabulary changed the way they make contact with victims of crime and the processes used to keep victims updated and supported. When I started, the force was ranked 40th out of 43 in the UK. Within two years the force was ranked 2nd – a massive increase in both victim confidence and victim satisfaction in the police response. However, this was then extended by the aim of County Durham to become the first “Restorative County” in the country. With Durham County Council, Crown Prosecution Service, Durham Constabulary, HM Prison Service, Durham Fire Brigade and the NHS all working together this has started to show significant benefits, where County Durham is one of the safest places to live but also has a good network to reduce offending and challenge anti-social behaviour. I worked in training around 700 people to be able to deliver Restorative Approaches which are now used in schools, workplaces, prisons and within the NHS to put right things that have gone wrong. Remember – nobody chooses to be a victim, but a Restorative Approach can assist in helping victims overcome their troubles. It also actively encourages members of the community to become involved in the justice system and to actively take part in supporting victims within their own communities, building safer and more cohesive community living. Graeme Morgan
What was happening around the world in February 1916? 3rd
Canada’s original parliament buildings in Ottawa burned down 5th Enrico Caruso recorded ‘O Sole Mio’ for the Victor Talking Machine Company 11th Baltimore Symphony Orchestra presents its first concert
11th Emma Goldman is arrested for lecturing on birth control 12th
First Edition of ‘The Gumps’
23rd Congress authorises a McKinley Memorial one dollar gold coin 26th Charlie Chaplin secures his first film contract with the American film company Mutual 28th Henry James died in London aged 72
Itinerary, 8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry
The Code of Hammurabi Hammurabi who died in about 1750 BC in Babylon was the sixth king of the First Babylonian Dynasty, reigning from 1792 BC to 1750 BC. He is known for the Code of Hammurabi, one of the earliest surviving codes of law in recorded history. The Code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian law code of ancient Mesopotamia, dating back to about 1754 BC. It is one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world. Hammurabi enacted the code, and partial copies exist on a man-sized stone stele and various clay tablets. The code consists of 282 laws, with scaled punishments, adjusting "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" as graded depending on social status, of slave versus free man. Nearly one-half of the code deals with matters of contract, establishing, for example, the wages to be paid to an ox driver or a surgeon. Other provisions set the terms of a transaction, establishing the liability of a builder for a house that collapses, for example, or property that is damaged while left in the care of another. A third of the code addresses issues concerning household and family relationships such as inheritance, divorce, paternity, and sexual behaviour. Only one provision appears to impose obligations on an official and this provision establishes that a judge who reaches an incorrect decision is to be fined and removed from the bench permanently. A few provisions address issues related to military service. If you, the reader, is interested, then details of these laws can be found on the internet. The code was discovered by modern archaeologists in 1901, and its translation published in 1902 by JeanVincent Scheil. This nearly complete example of the code is carved into a basalt stele in the shape of a huge index finger, 2.25m (7.4ft) tall. The code is inscribed in the Akkadian language, using cuneiform script carved into the stele. It is currently on display in the Louvre, with exact replicas in the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, the library of the Theological University of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, the Pergamon Museum of Berlin, and the National Museum of Iran in Tehran.
As We Were in February 1916 Optimism levels were on the rise this month. The Durham Chronicle reported “That Germany’s sun has past its meridian and is now on the decline is recognised throughout the neutral world.” Spirits were high in the trenches too. A concert had been held with the 2nd Northumbrian Field Ambulance Male Voice Choir providing entertainment along with several other artistes. They were conducted by Quartermaster Bell and accompanied by Pte Cairns on the piano. Col. Vaux presided. At home, the soldiers were in everyone’s mind; a concert at the Sherburn Hill Wesleyan Chapel, with Chairman A Wearmouth, conductor J Marley and organist W Davison, raised funds to provide comforts for those at the Front. It was not all jolly, however: officials decided to abandon the Durham County Show because of the War, and on February 10th the Compulsory Military Service Act came into force. News reached John Willis of 9, Shadforth Terrace in Ludworth that the previous month, on his 21st birthday, his son John Wilson Willis had been injured at the Front. At the County Hospital, doctors had banned smoking, deeming ‘My Lady Nicotine’ to be a stumbling block to the recovery of the patients. After much debate a “concession was obtained, the patients (men only of course) being allowed ½ hour per day to enjoy the fragrant weed”. On the weather front it had been “a mild winter thus far and a welcome drop in temperature kept back precocious vegetation.” 24
And in February 1966 the Great Train Robbers were in Durham Jail. The authorities feared that Douglas Gordon Goody, allegedly the mastermind behind the audacious robbery, was planning a break-out. A full-scale military style attack was envisaged with “tanks, bombs and limited atomic weapons.” The Chief Constable requested the help of the army as he did not have the necessary resources to repel an attack of this nature. On a lighter note, it was Rag Week in Durham, the floats were many and varied, “the students made merry and the money rolled in.” Over £3,800 (£50,000 - £60,000 in today’s terms) was raised in aid of NSPCC, Miners Lung Disease Research and RNID. One of the strangest stunts was the rainmaking competition where various colleges tried to induce a downpour – there was a Red Indian rain-dance, a cricket match (“it always rains at a cricket match”), a rendition of ‘Singing in the Rain’, and a ballet in the snow. I’m not sure what that last one had to do with anything, but it was all good fun. Much large-scale building work was going on in Durham this month. The Post Office Certificate Division HQ had
moved to the city and construction was in progress at the riverside site.
There was a lovely photo of L/Cpl Ray Sherburn, whose wife was living at 17 Sharp Crescent, Gilesgate Moor. He was a former miner in this area and had recently completed a three-year tour of duty as a male nurse in Tripoli and Cyprus.
The architects designing the Milburngate redevelopment were also commissioned to draw up plans for the city’s new £235,000 theatre to be begun in the near future. Work had also begun on the new Belmont Comprehensive School, underlining the Council’s support of comprehensive education in the county. Thanks
Also photographed were a number of pupils from the Durham Johnston Grammar School (then an all-boys establishment) who were to receive recognition for their efforts at school in the annual prize-giving. One recognisable fellow in the photograph was awarded a prize for his work at GCE A-level. His initials? WLM! And again on the weather front: Durham University reported that the previous month had been the dullest since 1950 with only 24.4 hours of sunshine recorded, compared with an average of 50.2.
as always to Michael Richardson, Gilesgate Archive, for providing the original images used in this article
Blood Money: Justice? Is this an older view of restorative justice? ‘Blood money’ is an expression often heard, but what is its origin? It was money or some sort of compensation paid by an offender (usually a murderer) or his/her family group to the family or kin group of the victim. These fines completely protected the offender or his/her relatives from the vengeance of the injured family. The system was common among Germanic peoples. A scale of payments, graduated according to the heinousness of the crime, was fixed by laws, which further settled who could exact the bloodmoney, and who were entitled to share it. Homicide was not the only crime to be compensated; bloodmoney could be exacted for all crimes of violence. Some acts, such as killing someone in a church or while asleep, or within the precincts of a royal palace were subject to the death penalty. Such a criminal was outlawed, and could be killed on sight. 25
How Parliament Works The origins of Parliament go back to the 13th century and each sitting in both Houses begins with prayers that follow the Christian Faith. Rules, customs and much of parliamentary procedure is not written in Standing Orders but has developed through continued use over the centuries. This is sometimes known as 'custom and practice’. The practice of bills being 'read' three times in both Houses is not in the Standing Orders for example. Erskine May was the Clerk of the House of Commons between 1871 and 1886. He wrote 'Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament' which is considered the authoritative source on parliamentary procedure. This book is now in its 24th edition. Parliament is made up of the Monarchy, the House of Commons with elected Members, and the House of Lords, sometimes referred to as the ‘Upper House’ and consists of Members who have been appointed for their expertise in certain fields, service to the country, and former members of the Commons. The main business of Parliament takes place in the two Houses and generally decisions made in one House have to be approved by the other. The main function of Parliament is to check, scrutinise and challenge the work of the Government. Members of both Houses get the opportunity to question the Prime Minister and government ministers either directly, on the floor of the House, or in writing. Government Ministers sit on the front bench on the right hand of the Speaker. The Chief Whip sits in this row immediately next to the gangway and Parliamentary Private Secretaries usually sit in the row behind their minister. Official Opposition spokespersons use the front bench to the Speaker's left. Minority or smaller parties sit on the benches below the gangway on the left, but if when a Member chooses to occupy a place on the front bench or on the opposite side of the House from their usual position there is no redress for such action. Debates in the House of Commons provide an opportunity for MPs to look at the creation and amendment of laws as well as national and international issues and can be on any subject. Votes are taken to see whether a majority of Members either support or reject any discussed laws or proposals. In the House of Lords general and short debates are held on one day a week but no vote is taken. The ‘Lords’ also scrutinise government legislation. All debates from both Houses are recorded in a publication called 'Hansard'. Commons debates are often lively; however, rules still govern 26
these. MPs have a right to be heard without overwhelming background noise, and un-parliamentary language is not allowed. The Speaker of the House of Commons controls the House and who speaks and when. MPs usually rise or half-rise from their seats in a bid to get the Speaker's attention - this is known as 'catching the Speaker's eye'. When a new Speaker is elected in the Commons, the successful candidate is physically dragged to the Chair by other MPs. This tradition has its roots in the Speaker's function to communicate the Commons' opinions to the monarch. Historically, if the monarch didn't agree with the message being communicated then the early death of the Speaker could follow. Therefore, as you can imagine previous Speakers required some gentle persuasion to accept the post. Committees of smaller groups of MPs and/or Lords look at specific policy issues or legislation in detail. Their roles differ, some altering legislation, producing reports and acting in an advisory capacity. House of Commons Select Committees were established to scrutinise the spending, administration and policy of government departments. MPs and Lords work together in Joint Select Committees on both a permanent and temporary basis. One of Parliament's main roles is debating and passing statute law or legislation. Most new laws are introduced by the Government with many included in the Queenâ€™s speech at the opening of each parliamentary session, and changes to existing laws are also discussed then. Many situations contribute to the need for new laws such as the threat of terrorism, others to ensure UK compliance with international or EU legislation. Before a proposal for a new law known as a Bill, is introduced to Parliament there is often consultation and discussion with interested parties and professional bodies. Proposals for legislative changes may be contained in government White Papers. These may be preceded by consultation papers, sometimes called Green Papers, which set out government proposals that are still taking shape and seek comments from the public. However this is not a legal requirement prior to the introduction of a Bill into Parliament. Sometimes a Draft Bill is published to enable pre-legislative scrutiny before it is formally introduced in the Commons or Lords. This allows members of both Houses to have early influence on the Bill. Some Bills apply to the whole of the UK, others to England and Wales only. The House of Lords is self-regulating, therefore there can be greater flexibility to examine an issue for longer than is typical in the Commons. When MPs vote on debates or legislation it is called a division. When MPs vote they say 'aye' or 'no'. In the Lords they vote saying 'content' or 'not content'. For major votes the House divides into the voting lobbies, two corridors that run either side of the chamber, and members are counted as they enter into each. The power of the House of Lords is limited by a combination of law and convention and until the early twentieth century the House of Lords had the power to veto legislation. However the introduction of the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949 reduced their powers considerably. At the present time there is in excess of 800 sitting Lords, compared to the 650 Members of the House of Commons and it is the only upper house of a Parliament with two legislative Houses where the number of Lords exceeds the Commons. 27
How times have changed When discussing the theme for this month’s magazine, memories of childhood came to mind. My father was a local village policeman who went on point duty walking around the streets checking to see that all was in order. In those days (more than 70 years ago), one of the worst things that anyone could do was to swear. Unbelievable in this day and age when swearing is part of so many people’s vocabulary. Looking after local farms was another of his duties and to do this he had to cycle. No cars in those days for the local ‘bobby’. Policemen were also involved when a funeral was being held at the local church. Traffic had to be stopped at crossroads to allow the continuation of the cortège to the church or chapel. White gloves had to be worn by the police officer on duty and as the hearse passed by he had to give a salute. We watched all this from our sitting room window at home and were so proud of him. BD
Weregeld: (another form of justice?) .... which can also be spelled wergild and wergeld, was known as "man price", as a value was placed on every being and piece of property. If property was stolen, or someone was injured or killed, the guilty person would have to pay weregeld as restitution to the victim's family or to the owner of the property. This payment was an important legal mechanism in early Germanic society; the other common form of legal reparation at this time was that mentioned next, that of blood money. The payment was typically made to the family or to the clan. No distinction was made between murder and manslaughter until these distinctions were instituted by the re-introduction of Roman law in the 12th century. Payment of the weregeld was gradually replaced with capital punishment, starting around the 9th century, and almost entirely by the 12th century when weregeld began to cease as a practice throughout the Holy Roman Empire.
A Little Word A little word of comfort, A little word of cheer Can help to ease a sorrow; Can help to dry a tear. A little word of kindness, A little word of praise Can make someone happy: Can cheer their dismal days. A little word of guidance A little word of prayer Can give someone confidence; Can make them know you care. Donâ€™t hesitate to use these words, Although they may seem small They help someone to realise That God above loves all. Anon
The February 2016 edition of Crosstalk Magazine.