Values. Publish and ignore?



We are a user led organisation which values the contribution of all service users, staff and other stakeholders. We respect difference and are committed to anti-oppressive practice.


This is an extract published on our local MIND website.  It sounds impressive.  It sounds clear and concise and above all it sounds good.  The problem is in practice it just doesn’t work out like that.

Take for instance the comment by the effective boss of the organisation when asking a member of staff about questions from the users. “have we got any sensible questions?” Now this is bad enough but he said it well in earshot of the users, and whilst most might have shrugged it off as ‘par for the course’ I for one found it offensive.

The problem is that this comment really does illustrate the real Values of our local MIND.  The receptionist left an old and confused man standing in the pouring rain a few months ago because the group session that he had come to take part in didn’t start for another three minutes.  I turned up just at the moment that the speaker at the door told him he’d have to wait outside.  It was dark and the rain was torrential, the man didn’t have an umbrella.  As we stood together we both got very wet, and just to the left of the door was a bay window throwing welcome light into the wet gloom, it was the waiting room.  I asked staff why we weren’t allowed to use the waiting room and I was told that it was MIND policy.  I became a little more insistent and eventually was told that we were a difficult group, that we might see staff in the lobby and ask them questions, that the staff might be on a break.  I challenged this assumption and ws told that that was how it was.

To cut a long story as short as I can, I asked the organisation to review this rule, telling them that I thought it was a bad rule.  No reply, and so I did a little research and sent them information regarding human rights and Mental Health equality, advising them that they had one of two choices.  Either allow us to use the waiting room or make a rule that no one could use the waiting room.  They had to treat us (Mental Health Patients) equally.  A few weeks passed and no reply.  I emailed MIND’s Central Office in London and outlined the situation.  I then emailed our local MIND group advising them that I would be contacting the Mental Health Equality Ombudsman if I didn’t get a reply to my complaint soon.

The following day I got an email from one of the local MIND managers telling me that they had decided that we could use the Waiting room for up to 15 minutes before a group session.

That was a while ago, and we have used the waiting room, and we haven’t bothered the staff.  The problem is, I can already detect an unwelcome and discouraging tone when we press the button to come in 15 minutes before a meeting.  So much for being user-led and commitment to anti-oppressive practice.


bye bye for now



MIND. The Gap!


Mr Catolick has been intensely involved with the Mental Health Services in a quaint Yorkshire  town of late and thinks he will tell you the merry tales of his experiences as time goes by.

Mental Health is one of those things that everyone is keen to get involved with and that people and society in general holds in high regard.  People with Mental Health issues are revered and thought of highly here in the U.K. and nowhere more so than in the quaint idyll of Northham.

As you read my mieowings on Mental Health and watch (perhaps) my video ditty’s, you will get a sense of the respect and consideration that Mental Health patients enjoy from agencies like the Health Care Trusts and MIND (a National Mental Health Charity) and even from the Government.  Look forward to uplifting postings telling the stories of how active we are and how well planned our care is, how reliable those who care for us are and share n the joy of having a Mental Health issue, here in England today.

See you soon.  MrC

Anglo Catholicks and the Church of England

I have been an Anglo Catholic since the early 1970′s and before that I was mildly Catholic but still learning about Christianity in a village church which was more or less High Church with a slight leaning towards the Catholic approach to worship and ecclesiology.

Since then I have learn a lot about the way that the church of England came into being and it is not a pretty story.  I had grave misgivings about the nature of the Anglican Communion and sought clarification from a wise Priest.  He helped me to consider the Church of England as being part of the continuing Catholic Church which was not Roman but still Catholic.

Now I am quite confused, and in a way that is a good thing.  If I were certain of my understanding then I think I would be in serious doubt of my thinking.

For me the Church of England cannot be a separate body, for if it is then heaven will be a very restricted experience.  Many of it’s doctrines are clearly erroneous within the great scheme of things, not least the matter of divorce and the role of the Monarch.  Divorce and the Monarch are where the Church of England begins, and the late medieval machinations of powerful clerics and temporal lords played about with these ‘doctrines’ whilst the common people were governed by another standard.

How I feel today about the label ‘Catholic’ is very different from the 70′s.  I feel that it is certainly not applicable to non-conformist denominations and does imply some adherence to long held practice and belief, but what that really is, I do not know.




madonna of the cat

MrC is managing quite well and long term therapies begin tomorrow.  MIND have been very helpful and  am very grateful for that.  I still have nothing positive from any diocese about worshipping but I have celebrated Mass once this year.

Finances prevented me from travelling to meet friends this year but I am hopeful that things may improve.  I spend my time painting and studying so life isn’t too bad but I remain very isolated.


I hope that you like the picture here.  The Madonna of the Cat (‘La Madonna del Gatto’)  It hangs in the National Gallery London (UK) and is by Frederico Berocci about 1575.  It is my favourite as it shows the Holy Family and the infant John the Baptist in a quite ordinary way, and there is a cat in it.

Prayers for the worldwide Catholic church continue and for all those within the church who strive to promote the principle of ‘love first’.

“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world, through Him, might be saved!”


I have not gone away, just having a looooooooooong cat nap.


Bye bye for now.  MrC




Touching the hem of Christ’s Vestments.

English: Logo of the Church of England

English: Logo of the Church of England (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Tomorrow there will be a discussion concerning the safeguarding procedures in relation to the abuse of children and vulnerable adults as it applies to the Church of England.  It seems however to be concerned, not only with prevention but also with punishment.

Whilst I fully accept the rightness of ensuring that people who are considered to be a risk to children and vulnerable adults are not allowed to have unsupervised access to children and vulnerable adults in church, I cannot see anywhere acknowledgement that such people may wish to repent and may wish to continue to have a sacramental relationship with God via the church.

The document fails to provide any guidance on how such people might be integrated into the Church.

The preoccupation about wearing vestments or clerical dress in this document is perhaps warranted, but the lack of pastoral guidance for the wicked is lamentable.  The demonising of such people is a sad reflection on the church and the dehumanisation of perpetrators is unhelpful.  They are reduced to the scathing reference; ‘these people’.

“The sexual and physical abuse that has been inflicted by these people on children, young people and adults is and will remain a deep source of grief and shame for years to come.” (my emphasis)

Be assured, I am not condoning any form of abuse, simply asking for a less vehement response in dealing with those who are responsible for ‘individual wickedness’.  We have a responsibility to ‘deal’ with them in their entirety, as sinners and as penitents.

It is good to hear the Archbishops citing Christ in their letter…

“All contemporary safeguarding policies and procedures in the Church should be a response to what we learn and see in Jesus himself… In witness to this faith and to our sense of obligation to children who are brought to Jesus through the care of the Christian community, the Church should set for itself the highest standards of care available to our society today”

Yet we also know that ‘what we learn and see in Jesus himself’ includes the grace of forgiveness and a responsibility to care for all who are outcast.

I also feel that the Archbishops should acknowledge that some abusers are themselves victims of abuse and may need special care by the church and church authorities for that very reason.  To cast them out may be to compound the very real harm they also live with.  I say this without any intention whatsoever of diminishing the guilt of the sinner nor seeking any action that would jeopardise a child or vulnerable adult.. or anyone else for that matter.  The daily rape by my Uncle and the chilling threats over many weeks when I was aged 7 haunt me every day.  I feel utterly desolate without the fellowship of my church and some acknowledgement of my repentance and desire to make some reperation.  My voice is the voice of a sinner, yes and i will always have that before me, but there is also the voice of the child within me, a voice that today I recognise more clearly thanks to my friends, both in Synod and online.  I could not cry out then, but i can today.

I would like the Archbishops to listen to me also when they say…

“It is right, therefore, that the General Synod should receive an account of the actions that the House and the Council have put in hand, have an opportunity to comment on the next steps, and be able to identify with the apology that we wish to offer unreservedly for the failure of the Church of England’s systems to protect children, young people and adults from physical and sexual abuse inflicted by its clergy and others and for the failure to listen properly to those so abused.” (my emphasis)

I shall not be at Synod this year but I hope that the brave may find something here to speak about.

In His service  MrC

The cat napping on the Fence.

emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Fr...

emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Français : emblème pontifical Italiano: emblema del Papato Português: Emblema papal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


MrC  has a bit of a funny position in the great scheme of things, balancing on the edge of Catholicism and liberalism and extremists on both sides take pot shots at the cat on the fence!

So I always try to read stuff with a mind of acceptance, and then analysis.

I read the above letter with some devotion and hopefully with a critical mind.

What is missing in this piece, imho, is an acknowledgement that the revelation of truth through ‘rational’ thought is not contradictory to faith.  Only if that faith is pickled in some preservative can the Pope(s) uphold a view that the light of reason is dimmed by the light of faith.

“that faith is a light, for once the flame of faith dies out, all other lights begin to dim.”

This view can be challenged by liberal thought, (liberal insofar as it accepts the light of reason as being valid in argument, theological and spiritual) because one can believe that science and reason illuminate the nature of God.

Two things come to mind.

The first affirms this belief.  That all light points to God and that these ‘lights’ cannot be contradictory because that would imply a house that is divided.  Mark 3:25 “… if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”

The second is that in Christ we have the full revelation of the nature of God.  One might infer from this statement that truth reached through modern reason somehow stands in opposition to the truth revealed in the person of Jesus Christ.

However one can argue that the full revelation that we have been given in the person of Jesus Christ is all that is needed for salvation.  This belief does not automatically preclude new revelations about the nature of creation or the physics of the cosmos, the workings of the human mind or the human body, and everything else that modern rational investigation has shown to us being acceptable to us as truth.

One is about salvation whilst the others are about the fruits of the tree of knowledge.  For MrC they both exist in unity and they are both part of that same light that we see in Him and through the workings of the Holy Spirit.

The real challenge for Christianity, and more specifically for the established Churches is accepting both and reworking superstitions and misconceptions that have over painted the light that is from God.  These are often fondly held moral views or modes of praxis that are rendered unworkable in the light of that reasoned light.

The trappings of how we do things and what we think of as being morally true are continually focussed by the gifts of reason and that should be embraced by Christians and traditions that are fondly held may have to be abandoned.  This should not shake our faith, for if we do believe that Jesus Christ is the full revelation of the nature of God’s relationship to humanity then we should also believe that this revelation will be in agreement with all truth; theological, spiritual and scientific.

Until we have the maturity of faith to appreciate the Light of Christ in all truth we are condemned to darkness, or at least to the dim shadows.