Saturday, 17 March 2012
I was amazed to read the sorry tale of the vicar from Yeovil in Somerset - Reverend James Baker - who sacked to elderly members of his church choir for refusing to undergo criminal records checks.
The two gentlemen concerned were both in their 80s - apparently - so I can't imagine they represented much of a menace to society, especially down amongst all the Worzels in leafy Somerset.
The female musical director of the choir - Jenny Hansford (70) - has also quit the choir in protest at the treatment of her two choiristers.
Who have more than 100 years service between them - and without a blot on their record as far as anyone knows.
The amazing thing is that it has since been confirmed to the vicar - that criminal record checks are only necessary where people and voluntary groups come into contact with children - which doesn't apply in this case.
Not least because all the key players or ex-players identified so far - appear to be in their 70s and 80s.
Jenny Hansford spoke for the nation when she said:
"We are all absolutely shocked by this. At the end of a Sunday morning service the vicar asked them to complete the forms and they stood firm and said they were not required.
"Mr Baker immediately said, 'in that case you are immediately sacked from the choir'.
"They told me they have spent more than 100 years between them singing in the choir and they knew they were not required to complete the CRB check."
Now speaking as a non-church goer myself - thie vicar's behaviour seems more than a bit over the top.
And none too Christian into the bargain - no wonder church attendances are falling.
So I can't imagine the Reverend James Baker is going to be around too long.