Amazingly Reverend Doctor David Walker, Bishop of Manchester

Children, aren’t they just great. I know this because I run over 190 schools, because I’m just so brilliant, in a very modest and self deprecating way of course. It’s not as if we just use them as a platform to indoctrinate or anything.

Jesus was a child once, which just goes to show how important being a child is.


5 thoughts on “Amazingly Reverend Doctor David Walker, Bishop of Manchester

  1. Well, if children and young people are more self aware these days; encouraged and supported in being who they are and perceive themselves to be (rather than falling in to traditional male and female stereotypes); if they refuse to identify as binary, show concern for climate change, have a much more robust aversion to racism, and are prepared to stand up and protest against other wrongs in society, then this is all to be welcomed and encouraged. It was, however, significant, I thought, that Walker failed to mention that whilst young people might be understaffed and respectful of their peers who express a link to a faith; on the whole religion is increasingly rejected by this generation, and there’s nothing to suggest that any change in the plummeting decline in religious adherence is going to stop any time soon. So, Mr Walker, what value your highly selective Church schools now? If you really have ‘faith’ in them, then besides making church attendance a criterion for entry, insist also on continuing church attendance as obligatory for each pupil and their families for the duration of their time at the school. Now that would really be interesting.


  2. My name is Jesus and as a child in Israel I have many worries. First of all, the bloody Romans! What have they ever done for us? Besides the roads and the water supply and trade – nothing. Us Jews want them out now but I don’t know which of the anti-Roman groups to sign up with. It’s so confusing.
    What really worries me most is the threat from fascist monarchs like Herod who are quite happy to kill all the babies under two just because they feel threatened.
    And child marriage, when is that going to stop? You hear of young girls being forced to have babies by deities even though they are virgins. Shocking.
    Education – when are we going to get some? All I get is scripture, scripture, scripture. I’ve had a word with that lot who run the temple and they seemed very interested in some of my ideas for a socialist utopia. I also tried to explain electricity to them but it seemed to go over their heads completely.
    My dad is a blue collar worker running his own business and things are always in short supply what with the Romans using up all the best timber for crucifying rebels.
    And male genital mutilation. Since when is it ok to cut off part of my penis without my consent?
    I’m hoping things will get better. My cousin John says a Messiah is coming but from the scripture I’ve read preachers have been saying that for generations.
    My mum is also annoyed as frankincense is in short supply. She says that what we want is another visit from those camel trader blokes who turned up after I was born and paid for a room to stay in with a pot of the stuff.


  3. Love PaulT’s flight of fancy. It’s actually more entertaining and believable than the original. Worth making into a full version, to include for instance the bit about Dad getting a fortnight’s paternity leave and the whole family swanning off to Egypt for a holiday; or the argument between Mum and Dad about what to put in the ‘Religion’ column in Caesar Augustus’s census.

    Bishop Walker seems inordinately proud of the stranglehold that the CofE has over the provision of schools in Manchester. Nationwide, 30% of primary schoolchildren and 10% of secondary schoolchildren have no choice but to attend a faith school. The NSS estimates that over 20,000 kids a year are assigned to faith schools against their parents’ explicit wishes:

    But, as even the Bishop admitted, children are increasingly standing up for themselves and questioning the societal norms being pushed onto them by older generations. For many of them, that starts with the religion they are spoon-fed at all those faith schools. Despite these attempts at indoctrination, voluntary church membership or attendance by young people is at an all-time low, which is pretty encouraging. I look forward with interest to learning the responses to the ‘Religion’ question in our own census earlier this year.


    1. The Rev and the Children’s Society point out something worrying though – more of our children feeling anxious. We can all remember those feelings from when we were younger. Religions provide a (relatively) safe space for children to be bought up with positive values. The challenge for the secular modern society is to provide that same safe space and positive values but without the supernatural oversight.
      Having recently spent some considerable time reading the very many confused anti-Covid sentiments online whilst trying to understand why my nephew wouldn’t take the vaccine, it is clear that there are so many people getting caught up in false information on social media that it will be no surprise to find children struggling to understand the world. There is definitely a role in schools for lessons in critical thinking to replace the RE we used to be forced to learn.


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