Letters, Thursday, May 1, 2014

Have your say

We are Christians in this country

IN her letter (April 23), Lesley Aitch claims that we are a secular society and like other so-called intellectuals, David Cameron is wrong for saying we should be proud of being a Christian Country – too true we are .

 We were brought up with Christian values that we got from our parents and at school.

 We celebrate Easter and Christmas, and all other holy days during the calendar year.

 It’s no wonder Christians now feel like the minority as it is people like these who think they know it all and put their own agenda before anyone else’s.

 We are not a secular society in any shape or form.

 As for Lesley’s question regarding the Bible parable about the Camel and the Needle – pull the other one please.

 We have the 10 Commandments. We may not all go to church on a Sunday, but we still are Christians in every way – and proud of it too.

George Gibson

Women had power

HENRY Whipple’s facetious comments (April 17) are misleading, and he has missed the point of my previous letter, which was to contrast the liberty enjoyed by women in the middle ages with their downtrodden status before and after.

 In ancient Rome, women had no status in law.

 They were chattels of their fathers, and those who were permitted to live beyond birth had their marriages arranged for them.

 The father’s right of life and death over his children went unchallenged until the late fourth century when, due to Christian influence, it was finally ended.

 Women, supported by the church, insisted on the right to marry the men of their choice.

 By the early middle ages, women had become subjects of rights. They could vote in urban, rural and guild assemblies, and own and dispose of property.

 Medieval women were not only educated but were, in many cases, the educators, among them nuns, who were well versed in Latin, Greek, and all that counted for a sound education then.

 As to property, the point to note is that while a husband might administer his wife’s property he could not dispose of it. She retained her right of ownership, and whatever property accrued to a married couple was held jointly.

 The Renaissance brought a renewed interest in the classical world of Greece and Rome, and, from a woman’s viewpoint, a disastrous obsession with Roman law.

 The freedoms women had enjoyed in the middle ages were subsequently lost. Women eventually became subordinated to their husbands, without whose consent they could do little.

 It is true that on the death of Henry I, Matilda was passed over by the English Council in favour of Stephen, as Henry Whipple has indicated. But Mr Whipple’s nit-picking should not blind anyone to the fact that, in countless ways, women were immeasurably more empowered in the medieval period that at any other time.

P J McPartland,


Tremendous support

I WOULD like to thank the fantastic people of Sunderland for the way they have rallied once more to support of the Poppy Appeal.

 Last year’s appeal raised a tremendous £54,500.

 Don’t forget, the appeal runs for only two weeks of the year, ending on the Saturday before Remembrance Sunday, so this amount is amazing.

 Myself and the rest of the Poppy team from the Royal British Legion, Grange Crescent (near Park Lane), collect in The Bridges shopping centre. There are also static points at Sunderland Railway Station and the Morrisons store in Seaburn, not forgetting all the shops, pubs, clubs and schools in the city that also have collection tins during poppy time.

 If you would like to be part of this year’s poppy team, you can ring 567 0112 or contact Sunderland Legion Facebook page.

 Thank you and hope to see you again in November.

Alf Nesbit,


Heartfelt thanks

THE family of the late Ted Morris, of Farringdon, would like to say a heartfelt thanks to the doctors, nurses and support staff of Wards C35 and E52 of Sunderland Royal Hospital for the dedicated care they gave Ted over the last few months of his life.

 We would particularly like to thank Mr O’Dair, consultant colorectal and general surgeon, and his dedicated team of staff who gave great support to Ted in his brave battle against colon cancer and to Dr Stout and all the nursing staff of E52 for the care they gave Ted when he was readmitted to hospital on March 18. He died on April 1 and his funeral took place on April 11.

 He was a committed supporter of 111 (Sunderland) Squadron of the Air Training Corps and had a long-standing involvement with the organisation spanning more than 30 years. We would therefore like to give our thanks to CO Peter Dixon and the personnel of 111 Squadron for arranging such a dignified tribute to Ted. Commendation should go to the young Air Cadets of 111 Squadron and to the many ex-members of the organisation, some of whom are serving in the Armed Forces, for their respectful acknowledgement of the cortege and for the personal tributes they have paid Ted since his passing.

 We would also like to thank Simon Thompson, of Peter Dodds Funeral Services, for his exemplary handling of all arrangements, to Kevin Thornhill for delivering such a lovely service and to all our family members, friends and ex-colleagues of Ted who came to pay their respects and gave so generously to our chosen charity, Cancer Research UK, raising £500.

 Ted was dearly loved by all who knew him; we were so proud that he received such a fitting goodbye and considered it only right to publicly thank everyone who played a part not only on his care, but also a part in ensuring the day of his funeral was conducted with dignity.

 Sincerest thanks to you all. He will be very sadly missed.

Mrs J Morris (wife),


Expenses a muddle

AFTER all the remarks by the Labour writers regarding Maria Miller MP and money cheating, what have they got to say about the councillor claiming large sums of expenses? What is he doing to claim this amount of money?

 The council is cutting back on everything which hurts the people of this city, yet the councillors keep claiming expenses.

 We have 75 councillors, but why not just one councillor per ward instead of three?

 At one time it was an honour to represent the city for a cup of tea and a biscuit, now it is about how much can I get.

 We have one of the highest-paid top layer of management in the country with one on more than the Prime Minister.

 I think it is time this council looked closer to home for saving money and start by cutting back on expenses and the number of councillors.

G Liddle,