From the Revd S. P. Bishop
Sir, - May I thank J. Strawson for her letter ("When the young
reconsider their religion", 5 October), and the encouragement
that it provided in giving our young adult children safe time and
space to come to their own decision about their faith, and that
sometimes these issues are outside of the scope of Alpha (which, I
feel, is presented by the Church as the answer to everything).
Of particular worth was her final
challenge that, as parents, we may need to think about when and how
much time we spend with our children in discussing issues and areas
of life that they want to debate.
My two daughters appear to be at a
similar stage to those of Ms Strawson. After teenage years when
they swallowed everything that the Church had to say, they are now
challenging those ideals, using the experiences that they have come
across at university, and in their early years of being in the
As Ms Strawson rightly says, we must
remember at all times that each person has his or her own
relationship with God, in the same way as we each have a different
relationship with one another; and so we must allow our children
time and space to develop their own relationship rather than
piggy-back on the coat-tails of our faith.
While we may be tempted to mould them
to our own ideal, we may need to spend the time with them in order
to understand the issues and challenges that they are currently
facing, so that we, in turn, can be assured or otherwise of our own
stance on any given subject.
I am very excited for my daughters at
this stage of their Christian walk as they discover for themselves
the grace of God.
S. P. BISHOP
Elmwood, 117 Mitchley Avenue
Sanderstead CR2 9HP
Sir, - Thank you for publishing Jo
Swinney's article "I'm not coming to church any more" (Features, 28
About 15 years ago, I was with two
Christian fathers. One mentioned in passing the Christian faith of
all his young adult "children". The other was quiet. I knew the
situation was not the same for him. Since that moment, I have felt
that this is not an issue that we discuss.
There are many Christian adults who
struggle with this and could do with support, but the issue is
swept under the carpet. Thank you for airing it. And now I am one
of those parents.
Name & Address Supplied