The unknown client: blessed are those who act justly

18 October 2019

Roger Kiska tells the stories of some of the cases that never make it to the press.

At Christian Concern, we consider our supporters to be part of the wider Christian Concern family. It is one of the reasons we do our best to share with all of you the personal side of the stories behind each one of our cases, so that you can invest in each of our clients on a human level.

However, the truth is that the cases we highlight on our website, through Christian Weekly News and other media outlets, provide only a small snapshot of everything we do. Most of the cases we handle, for various reasons, we cannot openly promote. It may be because the public authority who acted badly ended up doing the right thing in the end and we did not want to cause them public embarrassment. Another reason could be that the matter was positively resolved and we did not want to jeopardise our client’s relationship with their employer, university or with whomever the issue had arisen. But the truth is that for every Felix Ngole, Richard Page or Izzy Montague, there are countless others going through the exact same ordeal. And most of these matters, because of the direct intervention of the Christian Legal Centre and your support, are positively and expediently resolved.

Periodically we like to share these anonymised stories as part of an ongoing series called ‘The Unknown Client.’ As a direct result of your sacrificial gift, these success stories have been made possible. As such, these are as much your success stories as they are ours.

In this edition of ‘The Unknown Client’ we look at three such stories.

Fighting back against RSE

The Christian Legal Centre receives calls from concerned parents on nearly a daily basis, often several a day. The more parents hear about RSE, the more concerned they become about the materials their children are being exposed to and about how their parental rights are being curtailed. As part of these efforts, Christian Concern has put together a number of materials to help parents navigate the murky waters of the new regulations.

Part of what we do at the Christian Legal Centre is to actively assist parents, teachers, governors and policy shapers in understanding what the new law actually says and how the negative aspects of the regulations can be minimised. One such case happened on a macro-level, where a Christian Concern supporter, with the assistance of our legal team, played a major role in shaping the draft RSE policy for an entire Local Authority.

Because of his courage and forethought, armed with legal guidance from our Christian Legal Centre, this individual was able to play a significant role in the drafting and editing process of this Local Authority’s policy, which is to be rolled out to schools across the area to provide governors and head teachers guidance in shaping their own school policies.

Significant edits were made from the original draft policy because of this individual, resulting in greater safeguarding of parental rights and a significant watering down of some of the more controversial elements of the new regulations. We are particularly excited by this outcome and hope that sharing it with you will empower you to work closely with your own local authorities and individual schools, knowing that a positive outcome is possible.

Helping a church in need

Not too long ago, we were approached by a church that was letting its premises from a local university. Given the increasing intolerance and hostility that many universities are exhibiting towards Christian belief, it is not surprising that some at the university took aim at the church and sought to have it removed from campus.

These dissenting voices not only got their way, but they sought to punish the church through an extra-contractual demand of over £50,000, suggesting that the church had breached its leasing terms to the university by offending their diversity policy. What was so offensive as to lead to such an outrageous demand upon the church? It was that the church subscribed to Biblical beliefs on things such as evangelism, life and family.

With the assistance of the Christian Legal Centre, not only did the church not have to pay the more than £50,000 demanded, it was instead offered a significant financial settlement and an apology from the university.

Protecting our Christian teachers

The third story relates to a maintained faith school and the plight of a Christian teacher who stood up for his students and for what he believed was right. During a presentation provided by a guest speaker representing a government agency on the topic of British values and tolerance, the speaker made an egregious comparison of a Christian organisation – which  was near and dear to many of the students – to an organisation with well-known fundamentalist ties. The teacher, seeing the upset among his students, challenged the speaker over his comments.

Rather than owning up to his mistake and seeing that he had made an inappropriate comparison, the guest speaker complained to the head teacher about having been embarrassed in front of the class.

Given that the speaker represented a government agency, the school sided with the speaker and initiated disciplinary proceedings against the teacher in question. Following the intervention of the Christian Legal Centre, the matter was settled positively with the teacher receiving a sizable financial settlement, while he at the same time found employment at a different school. In the end, the teacher found himself in a better position than he had been even prior to the incident. We are told in Psalm 106:3 that, “blessed are those who act justly;” and again in Amos 5:24 that: “let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.” Those passages certainly ring true in this instance.

Thank you for your support

Thanks to you, these success stories were possible. We are grateful to you for all that you, our supporters, do for us. And we ask that you remember that every sacrificial donation you provide does far more than assist those we feature on our website. We kindly ask you to also prayerfully consider the unknown client, the brave men and women of God who have principally stood up and fought for their rights to be a believer in the public square. You may never know who they are, but be assured that you have blessed them and that they in turn pray for you.

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