St Mary’s University, Twickenham, subjects PGCE students to a two hour Stonewall-based training workshop

Amended post based on new information: Protect the Pope has been informed that St Mary’s University, Twickenham, subjected its PGCE students to a two-hour anti-homophobic bullying workshop run by an ‘independent Education Consultant’ using Stonewall material and promoting the Stonewall ‘worldview’. The ‘training’ session lasted from 4pm to 6pm on Thursday 6th June.

St Mary’s University claims to be a Catholic university. Its chair of the Board of Governors is appointed by the Archbishop of Westminster, Vin Nichols. The majority of its board members are appointed by the Catholic Education Service and the Chairman.

St Mary’s, Twickenham, is very proud of the fact that it hosted a number of events during Pope Benedict XVI’s state visit in 2010. It states on its website:

‘St Mary’s was specially selected by the Vatican for its first-rate facilities and location, and for the outstanding contribution the University College has made to Catholic education during its 160 year history’.

Protect the Pope comment: A simple question, what does Archbishop Nichols think of St Mary’s university engaging an ‘independent Education consultant’ using Stonewall material, a gay militant lobby group, to conduct a two hour ‘training’ workshop for its PGCE students? This is what Ruth Hunt, Stonewall’s director of public affairs said about Archbishop Nichols Christmas homily defending marriage:

‘“It is a real shame he’s taken away an opportunity for gay Catholics to celebrate mass in a safe environment. Given what’s happened over Christmas, where there were vitriolic and mean messages from pulpit about same-sex marriage, there has never been a more important time to provide a safe space for gay Catholics to pray. The archbishop’s views on gay issues are well rehearsed and have nothing to do with the spirituality of some lesbian and gay people and their desire to express their faith.”‘

And a simple question for the Chair of the Board of Governors and the governors appointed by the Catholic Education Service, how do you justify  paying an ‘independent Education consultant’ to promote  Stonewall’s material, a lobby group who oppose the Church’s teaching on sexual morality and publicly criticise Archbishop Nichols when he defends marriage in his Christmas homily?


64 comments to St Mary’s University, Twickenham, subjects PGCE students to a two hour Stonewall-based training workshop

  • peter

    I doubt it was a ‘homophobic workshop’!

    I am guessing it was a workshop against homophobia. Surely we are all against homophobic attacks and bullying. Stonewall may be the wrong organisation to facilitate such workshops but unless there is a better alternative who else should catholic education establishments use?


    • Deacon Nick Donnelly

      Thanks for pointing out the typo! There is clearly an urgent need for the CES to provide an alternative to Stonewall. Deacon Nick

      • Lola

        There is an alternative, Deacon Nick. It is called the Catechism of the Catholic Church and contains the training manual for anti-bullying across the board. What we need is a CES fit for mission and purpose to organise training workshops around the CCC.

    • Karla

      I doubt Stonewall is the only anti bullying organization in Britain.

    • Peter states: “Surely we are all against homophobic attacks and bullying.” Well maybe I might be against homophobic attacks if, and only if, someone could explain to me what exactly is meant by “homophobic” if their is a meaning other than “shut up; and if you won’t our friends in parliament, the media and the police will shut you up for us”.

      • peter

        The CCC states
        [homosexuals] must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.

        I hope everyone agrees that our education services must ensure the above is made a reality. I tend to agree with Nick. the CES needs to develop an alternative to Stonewall.

        • Wake up England

          Bullying of homosexuals is not nearly the problem it’s often made out to be, in my opinion.

          I’ve been openly “gay” all my life and very rarely have I had any trouble. On the rare occasions when I have, I have sorted it out. Does Stonewall think all homosexuals are wimps in need of their “protection”? How patronising!

          Most homosexuals I know are more than capable of looking after themselves, thank you very much Stonewall.

          “Gay” militant people bullying the rest of society is far more of a problem; in fact it’s unsuspecting heterosexuals who need sturdy advice on how to defend themselves (and our Catholic Faith) against the terrifying “Lesbians for Justice” and “Queers Know Best” brigade.

          And now the politically charged heterosexual lobby has cottoned-on to the mileage they can get by waving the dreary Gay Equality Banner.

          The work of the Devil is abroad, dear readers.

          • Sam Mace

            wake up england i think it depends partly where you live and at school it is recognized that there are hundreds of thousands of incidents a year across the country. Like you i have been openly gay all my life and had few problems, at secondary school i had some issues but nothing with my friends i couldn’t handle. However i know people who in all fairness have suffered really badly from discrimination and this from my experience of talking to people anecdotally has been a real problem in faith schools both catholic and other denominations. Stonewall don’t think what you say they do, they merely recognise bullying as an issue and aim to tackle it.

      • AsItIs

        …and the same as with ‘Islamophobia’

        • Ioannes

          Homophobia is simply meaningless – “an irrational fear of the same”? Islamophobia would be “an irrational fear of Islam”. However, anxiety about Islam and the actions of some of its devotees is hardly irrational, so Islamophobia is a misnomer. However, in the Humpty-Dumpty world of political correctness, words mean what anyone wants them to mean. Perversion of language is an attribute of totalitarianism, something Orwell knew well enough.

    • tro

      There is no such thing as “homophobia”: the term is simply a tactic used by homosexual activists to demonise and intimidate opponents of the homosexualist agenda.

      Muslim supremacists have seen how successfully the tactic has worked – hence the sudden appearance of the imaginary ‘condition’, “islamophobia”.

    • Lynda

      Common sense and objective morality. “Workshops” are not required to deal with immoral behaviour unless a certain ideology is being inculcated.

  • Danny

    Hi Peter,
    There is dealing with homophobia and then there is promoting same sex lifestyles. Having had to endure that lecture I quickly realised there was a pro-homosexual agenda. He was suggesting ways in which same sex lifestyles could be promoted in different subjects. To paraphrase: “Why have a husband and wife going to the shop as an example when you could have a husband and husband or wife and wife?” When talking about a potential modern languages lesson. Also, used the example of older textbooks having exclusively white people in them and now having asian and black people too. I pointed out to a colleague that it was a weak example as pictures don’t necessarily reflect sexual orientation.

    • Joseph Matthew

      Thank you for the clarification Danny. It seems clear that Stonewall is not that interested in homophobia but is very interested in homosexual propaganda. Just like Melinda Gates who is not that interested in getting rid of poverty but is very interested in getting rid of the poor through the promotion of “reproductive rights”.

  • peter

    Hi Danny
    My preference would be for a series of anti bullying workshop by experts who had a good understanding of catholic teaching. But whoever they are, they need to be able to speak to those who are being bullied as well who are the perpetrators.

    • Wake up England


      Is anyone being bullied, then?

      My experience of Stonewall and other political “Gay Rights” groups is that they do the bullying, nem con.

      I bet Stonewall wasn’t invited by the homosexual faction at Twickenham; it will have been a decision arrived at by politically motivated heterosexuals who have colonised the “Gay Rights” issue for their own ends. “Let’s jump on the Pink Ticket bandwagon”.

    • ms Catholic state

      Peter….given the sad state of bullying in secular schools….Secularists have nothing to teach faithful Catholics on anti-Bullying. We should be teaching them! Catholic schools in my experience are a safe-have from bullying. And if they are not….then that means they are not teaching the Faith properly.

      • Sam Mace

        please can you provide evidence that catholic schools suffer from significant less bullying than state schools? i went to a state school and had very few problems with bullying and any problem was stamped out immediately. Again when making these kinds of claims can you back them up with a relevant study to prove your point.

        • ms Catholic state

          This is my own experience! I read daily horrific tales of bullying in secular schools…while my own local Catholic school got a clear sheet on bullying from Ofsted some years ago. Also I spent my youth in Catholic schools. I dread to think what would have happened had I gone to a secular school.

          In my opinion…..every child deserves a Catholic education. As Christ said…’Let the children come to Me…and let nobody stop them’. Woe betide the mean-minded Christless bigwigs who scheme to deprive children of Christ! They will answer for it yet.

          • Sam Mace

            where are these daily horrific tales printed? yes my school which is secular got a clear sheet on bullying from ofsted as well. I don’t know how old you are but i presume that was a while ago and the memory does tend to leave bad things out. In my view education should be secular with a strong r.e department to teach children about all different faiths. This way there is no dividing line which with children is always better than creating division. Like i have said previously there are good experiences in catholic schools and i know of some especially bad ones and the same goes for secular schools. To pretend that either model is perfect is incorrect.

          • ms Catholic state

            Don’t you believe me Sam?! You should broaden your horizens. I read them in the Daily Mail. But it isn’t just the headlining stories….but the comments and stories from parents below that makes your blood run cold sometimes.

            And my memory is completely intact. My Catholic schooldays were bully free. There was not even one fist fight amongst the boys!! Anyhow….a comparison of Ofsted reports should be revealing regards bullying in secular versus Catholic schools. Why such a thing hasn’t been done before now…I just don’t know.

          • Sam Mace

            I am sorry but if i was to use the daily mail as a source in any kind of statistical claim in my coursework at university (lancaster) then i would be failed for that piece of work. The daily mail and anecdotes do not class as any kind of evidence. It is not a question of thinking you are lying but i know from experience the brain is clever in leaving out memories which are not useful to us. No-ones memory is completely intact even those with a very good memory. Bullying isn’t just fighting it can be many different forms and unless you were there for every class and knew everyone you cannot say there was no bullying. Why don’t you do it if you’re so interested? all ofsted reports are completely open to the public and comparisons of several hundred schools in the same area would be easy enough with time i imagine.

  • Rifleman 819

    Deacon Nick ,

    Again -which member of the University staff staff engaged and presumably paid for Stonewall to deliver this lecture?

    But there of course is the classic counter-thrust and it must be considered…not how Catholic or diluted is its Catholic ethos might already be…but as it receives £29.04 million of public money then perhaps …perhaps it should be having Stonewall on board from time to time…..or as Stonewall has now “done” primary schools in ADS…now St.Mary’s …is there an active agenda operating between the ADW and Stonewall anyway?

    I hope I have that -right or is the university just unwise in picking its outside guest groups. But PGCE students become teachers and teach our children…so where better to start???

    There has been trouble t’mill with St Mary’s recently , hasn’t there?

  • Hamish Redux

    Stonewall certainly knows a lot about bullying people.

  • Lynda

    The reeducation programme. We are acquiescing to our enslavement, and the abuse of our children’s minds and souls.

  • ConfusedofChi

    Who better to instruct our teachers on Gay Marriage….and so it goes on…and on

  • Karla

    Off topic:

    The gay people against gay marriage

  • Ian

    Gay lobby in Vaticn according to Pope! Who’d a thought it?

    • Karla

      Pope Francis and the Vatican “gay lobby”—10 things to know and share.


  • ms Catholic state

    Surely Catholic teachers should know how to deal with all forms of bullying…..simply by knowing and applying the Faith! Whatever happened to Christ’s command ‘Do unto others as you would be done by’! Seems even Catholic schools think Jesus Christ can’t compare with outside Anti-Bullying agencies. Sorry….but given the track record of bullying in secular schools (which is at atrocious levels)….I think Catholics should be holding anti-Bullying seminars teaching Secularists. Not the other way around.

    Can’t wait for a few more new Bishops to deal with this as real Catholics would.

  • Peter Northcott

    The Catholic Education Service is headed by Malcolm McMahon, not +Vin.

    I can’t bring myself to call Malc, my Bishop (as I’m in his diocese) owing to manifest dissent. He’s even recently appointed an ex-Anglican priestette as the head of our Nottingham Diocesan Education Centre!

    So why do the TLMS and other ‘Traditionalist’ clerics paint him in such a glowing light? Just because he celebrates Pontifical Masses for them?
    For, there must be no other reason, because they know he’s a chizzing heretic – or do they just play the ex opere operato card when it suits?

    …and LMS types in here have accused me of hypocrisy.

  • Michael B Rooke

    When reading an article by Cardinal Pell on anger

    I looked for a Hebrew context for anger and came across an article on Ancient Hebrew thought.

    In a section on Appearance vs. Functional Description the comment is made

    “Greek thought describes objects in relation to its appearance. Hebrew thought describes objects in relation to its function.”

    At the end of the article it makes a profound statement

    “Even the Hebrew nouns for father and mother are descriptive of action. The Hebrew word for father is אב (av) and literally means “the one who gives strength to the family” and mother אם (em) means “the one that binds the family together”.”

    ‘Gay’ marriage cannot provide that meaning.

  • Damask Rose

    It doesn’t surprise me at all that Stonewall was invited. What with Beattie and her homosexual book and the Catholic Department at Durham and their gender theory (if my memory serves me correctly) there’s no need to be surprised. They’re seems to be a kind of inevitability about all this. All of us who have made comments here on this thread, well, I feel we’re just like sheep bleating (I don’t mean to be derogatory to anyone, this is not what I mean). Who is going to listen to us? The Catholic hierarchy? It just feels like it’s too big for me, crushing. Sorry to be pessimistic.

  • Damask Rose

    Thanks for all the brilliant threads of late, Deacon Nick. Very brave threads too. Great commenting everyone.

  • Damask Rose

    Woops – There seems to be a kind of inevitability…

  • Mike2

    As Danny says, Stonewall’s real reason for getting into places of education hasn’t got much to do with bullying. That’s just the cover. The real agenda is to promote the ‘normality’ of the homosexual lifestyle. This article about the way they do it in the USA says it all.
    Notice the similarity about the Maths example.
    In the Ready, Set, Respect! booklet, for instance, teachers are advised to “write maths problems with contexts that include a variety of family structures and gender-expressions”. For example, “Rosa and her dads were at the store and wanted to buy three boxes of pasta. If each costs $.75, how much will all three boxes cost?”

    • ms Catholic state

      Schools must not flinch from describing homosexual activity as sinful (in secondary schools that is. Primary schools shouldn’t mention such things.) But that is what Stonewall want to undermine. Next they will be coming into our Churches! Pathetic.

  • [...] Nick Donnelly of the excellent Protect the Pope blog reports that St Mary’s University College, Twickenham – known colloquially as Strawberry Hill – [...]

  • JohnRR

    It makes me laugh that gays still think they’re an oppressed minority. There isn’t an organisation in the country that doesn’t bend over backwards to accommodate their every whim and fancy.

  • peter

    It seems to me all bullying should be challenged in our schools. It doesn’t matter why someone is bullied it should be stopped in schools are society at large.

    The NSPCC statistics are chilling, their research shows homophobic bullying exists. I’m sure we all want an end to homophobic bullying, how the catholic church goes about it is up for debate. I would prefer it being facilitated by faith groups, but if we are not up to doing the job we need to get others involved.

    To deny there is such a thing as homophobia is absurd.

    • ms Catholic state

      There is little or no bullying in properly run Catholic schools. We could teach secular schools a thing or 3 about anti-bullying (of all descriptions). The Catholic Faith is the greatest deterrent to bullying there is. We need more Catholic schools for all children.

      • peter

        Ms Catholic State
        do you have hard evidence for writing ‘there is no or little bullying in properly run catholic schools’. I’m not asking about your own experience rather detailed research. Having read the NSPCC document the evidence clearly shows homophobic bullying exists.


        • ms Catholic state

          As I have said above….it is based on my long experience with Catholic education….with tales of horrendous bullying in secular schools. And this I will pass onto interested parents for what it’s worth.

          Funny there hasn’t been any study I know of comparing bullying in respective Catholic and secular schools! Hmmm….secular head teachers afraid of something or what?! Lets have some studies undertaken by SPUC

          • Sam Mace

            I am sorry but this is just incorrect in all schools you will find instances of bullying even in really well run ones because all schools will have some bad apples. One of my friends was bullied at the local catholic school where they live yet it is deemed to be ‘well run’. How do you define a properly run catholic school and where is your evidence beside anecdotes which are not evidence. Unless your long experience with catholic education is with every catholic school in the country every day checking all the records then you cannot qualify such a statement. A study wouldn’t be needed, you could simply compare figures from ofsted and making sure fair comparisons are taking place the schools would have to be in an area with the same median income, same background etc etc which could be done with time and effort.

          • ms Catholic state

            I disagree. You must have had bad experiences or low expectations due to your peculiar secular background. That’s why I think it’s such a shame and a type of abuse to subject young minds to a secular God-free education. No wonder suicide is so common amongst secular teens. They must feel this to be an alien uncaring loveless universe. On top of that they are probably living with the feelings of rejection due to an absent parent who abandoned them.

            To deny such children the knowledge of a loving Father in Heaven….is cruelty indeed. And then the harsh environment of a secular school! So Catholic schools do provide a great service, a more caring and loving environment….which translates into less bullying etc

          • Sam Mace

            Really tell that to my friend who experienced awful bullying at a ‘caring and loving’ catholic school. I had very good experiences at my primary school where no bullying took place as it was so very small (90 kids) my secondary school where minor forms of antagonism took place between some of the pupils but it was quickly stopped, my college again secular where i have made friends for life and no bullying took place and now my university again the same as my college. Where are the statistics for an absent parent in secular believing couples? Like i say some form of bullying even with 1 or 2 kids in most likely to be inevitable in a school of 620 statistically it is extremely improbable that with all those kids you wouldn’t get a single incident of bullying.

            I didn’t have a god free education we had r.e class once a week for an hour, it just so happened that i don’t believe in god because i used my reasoning faculties to come to my explanation is that it is extremely unlikely. Have you studied suicide amongst secular teens statistics? it is a shame your church fails to pay attention to the gay teen suicide rates which are larger than average because many teens don’t feel accepted.

            I am sorry but i will not let you brand my parents who do believe in a secular country as bringing me up in an uncaring, loveless universe. They have provided me with love and support through my life and have always given me their full support in what i do. I am currently at a top 10 university studying what i love despite going through what you would describe as a second rate school system. You make many unfounded claims that secular parents are more likely to be single parents, that secular education is god free (not the case) that secular schools are harsh environments? that catholic schools are more loving and caring? this without providing a single shred of evidence. I generally don’t comment on things i have no evidence for, i haven’t made any assertions simply that you make claims which you cannot back up with any statistical evidence.

  • ms Catholic state

    Maybe SPUC could do a study on the levels of bullying in Catholic schools as opposed to secular schools. Time for the scandal of bullying to be revealed. Many a head teacher will baulk at such exposure….but they’ve operated in secrecy (or privacy as they like to call it) for far too long.

  • peter

    Why on earth would SPUC use their limited resources on a study of homophobic bullying. I would be very annoyed if my donations to SPUC were used for such purposes.


    • ms Catholic state

      I would be annoyed too if SPUC choose to study only so-called ‘homophobic’ bullying. But did you not notice….I referred to ‘bullying’, meaning all types of bullying. Do you need specs or something?!

  • peter

    Yes I do need specs! Very much so.
    But my point remains the same – SPUC has a mandate to fight abortion and not to be an anti-bullying campaign. That’s all I am saying as a financial supporter of SPUC.

    In the UK people are bullied for being gay. In the UK people are physically attacked for being gay. In the UK people are verbally abused for being gay. And as we both know it is against church teaching for gay people to be bullied, physically attacked or verbally abused.

    • ms Catholic state

      Well Spuc’s remit seems to be quite broad. I think this is a good thing….as abortion is the end of a long chain of events, many of which SPUC seems to tackle. I think they are guardians of Catholic morality…..and that is a good thing.

      It is against Church teaching for anybody to be bullied….not just so-called ‘gay’ children! Do unto others as you would be done by….still is the golden rule.

  • peter

    ‘Do unto others as you would be done by….still is the golden rule’ I wholeheartedly agree with you.


  • [...] Nick Donnelly of the excellent Protect the Pope blog reports that St Mary’s University College, Twickenham (known colloquially as Strawberry Hill): [...]

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