17 December 2017

Grace & Truth


Scottish police forces have been told not to accept a gift of free Bibles from the Gideons because the book “condemns homosexuality”.

The Bibles have been offered to Scottish police forces featuring each force’s badge.

But the Gay Police Association (GPA) is against the move, and has issued a statement demanding that the forces refuse to be involved.

Trade union UNISON has joined with the GPA in opposing the offer of free Bibles for Scottish police forces.

Gideons say they want to offer Scottish police the Bibles as a “valuable guide to life”. The group said they “can be offered to all members of the individual force, both ser ving police officers and civilian staff”.

But the GPA said in a statement: “members of the GPA have contacted us expressing concern that their Force is officially endorsing a religious book containing text which condemns homosexuality”.

UNISON commented that it hoped police forces in Scotland would “reject” the offer.


A man declared brain dead by four doctors made an extraordinary recovery after his parents asked for another opinion before their son’s life support was switched off.

Steven Thorpe was 17 when he suffered horrific injures following a crash involving three cars. He was rushed to hospital where doctors put him in a coma.

Doctors told Steven’s family that he would never recover and asked them to consider donating his organs. But Steven’s dad sought another opinion and enlisted the help of Julia Piper, a private GP.

Speaking about the ordeal for the first time Steven said: “my impression is maybe the hospital weren’t very happy that my father wanted a second opinion. The words they used to my parents were ‘you need to start thinking about organ donations’. I think that’s what gave my dad energy, he thought ‘no way’”.

Steven is now 21 and training to be an accountant. Since being released from hospital he has had four operations to reconstruct his face.

Dr Piper said: “they had doctors saying he wasn’t going to live but the parents felt there was flickers of response and it wasn’t just wishful thinking”. She added that “eventually I got someone else to look at him and of course it proved to have been the right thing to have done”.


Almost one in three children aged just ten or under have seen sexual images online, according to figures highlighted in a parliamentary inquiry.

The inquiry found that the “majority of children access the internet alone” and the average age when a child first uses the internet in the UK is eight-years-old.

Studies also noted in the inquiry’s report suggested four out of five children aged 14-16 access online pornography at home.

Claire Perry, the Conservative MP for Devizes, who chaired the inquiry into online child protection, said its results were “hugely worrying”.

Miss Perry said while “parents should be responsible for their children’s online safety”, people find it difficult to put filters on the many internet-enabled devices in their homes.


One of England’s most senior family court judges says the time has come to halt the damage being done by broken marriages.

Sir Paul Coleridge has launched a new group to promote marriage and tackle the UK’s ‘divorce addiction’. He says that waiting for the Government to do anything about the mess is “merely an excuse” for inactivity.

“Marriage is not something that falls out of the sky ready-made”, he said, “it involves endless hard work, compromises, forgiveness and love. However right the person is, they might not be right two years later. It doesn’t matter how wonderful you appear to be to your partner at the beginning, you will begin to display faults that we all have”.

“In order for a relationship to last, you have to hang in there and adjust and change and alter and understand. Long, stable marriages are carved out of the rock of human stubbornness and selfishness and difficulties”.

Sir Paul hit out at the trend for glitzy, expensive weddings promoted by glossy, celebrity magazines and Hollywood films. He said: “the more we have spent on weddings, the greater the rate of family breakdown”. And he points to solid evidence showing that married couples are more likely to stay together than cohabiting couples.

It is highly unusual for a sitting judge to be so actively involved in a campaign, but Sir Paul says he cannot remain silent about the harm that is being done. Four other leading figures are joining with Sir Paul. They are: Baroness Deech, Lord Justice Toulson, Baroness

Shackleton and Baroness Butler-Sloss.