From Canon Dr Alan Billings
Sir, — In your article for the 20th anniversary of Faith in the City (
Features, 2 December), you say that Lord Tebbit always denied dubbing the
I think this is a little disingenuous. On late-evening TV in the week of
publication, he dismissed the report by referring to me as the Marxist deputy
leader of Sheffield City Council. Colleagues on the council found this hugely
amusing, since I was seen by them as right-wing. My inner-city ward was under
constant attack from Militant.
The report had considerable influence on theological education. I was asked
to go to Cuddesdon by John Garton to set up a training house in an urban
priority area. I did this by persuading former colleagues to let the college
rent a council house on the Manor estate in Sheffield.
Other colleges made similar arrangements. But, more particularly, it had the
effect of making educators pay much more attention to context in theology.
Centre for Ethics and Religion, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YG