How did I get to here? I often wonder! After taking a Sociology degree and CQSW at Bath University, I began my professional career in 1974 as a social worker with the now defunct Avon County Council. In those days social workers were generic, not knowing much about everything! Following the sudden death of my father - who was a rather unconventional Baptist Minister - I decided to take a break and to study theology at the radical Northern Baptist College and the University of Manchester.
I did a postgraduate theology degree (First Class!) then became a Minister myself for over 5 years, before going to work for the Diocese of Lichfield Board for Social Responsibility at the time of 'Faith in the City', helping parish churches to make connections between what they did on Sundays and the rest of the life of their local communities. But I had become increasingly sceptical about traditional Christian beliefs so when that job ended I went back into social work and Education Welfare. I carried on preaching and leading services for another 10 years as a Church of England Reader in two Stafford parishes, then pretty much walked away from any involvement in church life in 1999.
In my new career I published widely on the educational implications of the Children Act 1989 and other welfare issues during over 20 years' experience in Staffordshire and Wolverhampton Local Authorities until I took early retirement in 2011. I then ran courses and worked with schools as an Independent Consultant and Trainer. I am also a governor of a special school for children with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs and am taking a course to qualify as an adult education teacher - better late than never!! I am currently involved in supporting basic English language teaching in this fine example of a multicultural 'City of Sanctuary'.
I know this journey won't last forever, so now that I am retiring from paid work again, this Prodigal is returning - well, sort of! Jesus was not a 'Christian' so neither am I!
I had pretty much retired from education welfare work before the current closures, but I have decided to continue for the time being. I will give you accurate independent advice about attendance and absence which is based on actual Guidance wherever possible. (My main advice has always been to check the Regulations and Guidance before you do anything - it still is!)
You can find information on the present arrangements for SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AND ABSENCE here. LAST UPDATED 3RD JUNE. As things develop, there may be new training packages available later in order to promote best practice. Or CONTACT ME at any time. Enquiries from parents or schools are welcome.
RE-THINKING CHRISTIANITY This website now also reflects my other main interest: Can Christianity and its central figure mean anything to those who are not convinced that conventional ideas of 'God' and religion take us where we need to go as modern, thoughtful human beings?
On the RESOURCES page you will find a PowerPoint (with audio) on 'Who wrote the Bible'? plus a set of free discussion notes on the classic book from the 1960s, ''Honest to God' and my own studies on the Psalms from 2011, 'Walking without God'. These are all free.
Friendly FEEDBACK is always very welcome. Please let me know if you have found my ideas interesting and helpful.
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All information and advice on this website, and in any electronic communication or face to face work, is given in good faith and is accurate to the best of my knowledge and belief. No personal liability is accepted for the adverse consequences of any unintended factual errors or omissions.