Drop the media view of Christians

3rd August 2001 at 01:00
Peter Wilby, in his article "Church school 'magic' is simply snobbery" (TES, July 20), appears to live in a parallel world to mine. Although it is true that some American states are "wedded to secularism" in their schools, there are others that are less prescriptive. Similarly, there are some people in the UK who go to church as a "pleasant way to occupy an hour or two", but many others who go out of conviction and because they believe that Christianity has the answers to questions that people ask today.

Sadly, Peter Wilby has fallen for the image of the Christian that the media is keen to paint. For instance, I would not call Jonathan Edwards, Cliff Richard, Va'aiga Tuigamala or the Rt Rev James Jones (Bishop of Liverpool) "mousy individuals who find it hard to make friends". My experience of church schools is that they are successful because parents - from white middle-class or Asian and Caribbean working-class - believe that they teach attitudes and standards of behaviour that have been lost in ordinary state schools.

Ironically, the UK's education system - as with so much of its social welfare provision - would not have come into existence had it not been for the dedication and foresight of committed Christians in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Andrew Bowdler

1 St Nicholas Close

Dinas, Powys

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