Vicar’s Letter October 2016

Dear Friends,

I have a confession to make: I am an Archers addict – I have been for many years now.  The Radio 4 soap opera is on just at the right time for me and just lately, it has been compulsive listening!

The story line has been a horrible but compelling one: the domestic violence between Rob Titchener and his wife Helen.  A few months ago, Helen stabbed Rob and she ended up in court for “attempted murder”.  Between the two of them they have two very small children and part of the agony of the storyline has been the effect on Henry and Jack.

The thing that has been so insidious about the story line has been the subtle ways in which Rob has bullied Helen – rarely physically (although there was some of that) but persistent emotional and social bullying to undermine Helen’s independence and self-esteem.  I wonder, do you ever shout at the radio?

The case has now come to an end and mercifully for Helen, she is “free to go” and try to rebuild her life but I’m sure that that isn’t the end of the story – What will happen next?  What will happen to the boys?  Will Rob stick around or ride off into the sunset?

Soap operas by their nature paint strong pictures of family troubles and broken relationships but they do have much to teach us.  Bullying is awful in all its forms and trying to dominate and subvert someone else to your will is at best selfish and at worst evil.  God gave us all free will to be able to choose for ourselves.  Our task, as we love one another is to help each other to make wise decisions beyond our own self-interest.

One of the saving graces of the case against Helen Titchener has been her barrister Anna.  Anna, far from being problem free herself, has nonetheless helped Helen to be able to talk (no small feat), gain some healthy perspective and begin to find a way out of her nightmare.  Others of us can do the same when in friendship and love, as we stand by those we know are going through tough times and help them to realise that they are not or never will be alone

Peter Chantry

About Stephen

Lay Chair of All Saints' Church Council and Treasurer. Retired Head of University Secretariat at Keele, Secretary of North Staffs Classical Association, Secretary of North Shropshire CLP, former Woore Parish Councillor & Vice-Chairman of Woore Neighbourhood Plan Team, now complete. Chairman of Sir John Offley's Almshouse Trust, Madeley.
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