Balcarras mentioned on the Jeremy Vine show

Bishop James Jones mentions the pupils of Balcarras during his interview on the Jeremy Vine show.

Bishop James Jones KBE mentioned Balcarras during an interview on the Jeremy Vine show on Thursday 11th November. Bishop James is the former Bishop of Liverpool and was also the Chairman of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, which was so crucial in finally getting to the heart of why the disaster had happened. His interview with Jeremy Vine was about his new book, Justice for Christ’s Sake. Bishop James visited Balcarras in 2018 as our Guest of Honour at prizegiving. If you are interested the interview can be found at the following link. It starts at about 1:10 and the reference to Balcarras is at 1:15.

Here is a transcript of the section relating to the school:

JEREMY VINE: As you look around it would be easy for you to say, in your position as a senior statesman, that there isn’t any justice because there are so many wrongs in the world, and you have only looked at a small number—but you look around—why is it that it is the poor who are the main victims of climate change?. Do you not end up now thinking that there isn’t justice anymore?

BISHOP JAMES: I’m not that pessimistic Jeremy because I believe that in every human being there is a spiritual instinct, there is a moral instinct and these things don’t come to the fore the whole time but they are there. A few years ago I was invited to do the prizegiving at Balcarras Academy, just outside Cheltenham and I began by saying: “Look, I have not come here today to tell you to follow your dreams or to tell you to be the best possible person you can be.” I said, “I’ve come here with a different message, and it may not make you famous or popular or rich, but this is the message: as you go through life, be fair. And in being fair make the world a fairer place.” What took me a back was the applause that that message received and I do believe that there is a moral instinct in people. It is there in the young, we can see that in their reaction to COP 26. There is this moral instinct and what I am trying to do in my book is to explore the foundations of this morality to give hope to people who feel there is no justice.

For what it is worth I agree with Bishop James. I have long argued that we have no reason to fear the future because I believe this generation of young people have enough character and spirit to meet the challenges head on. Moreover, I experience daily what Bishop James refers to: this eagerness to look out for others, the desire to be fair and a willingness to share.

I too can remember what I said at prizegiving on the 18th October 2018. I said; “We are proud to be a comprehensive school—a school where all children get a fair chance, not just some, and where everyone is encouraged to their best whatever that is.”

Dominic Burke