On Resigning from the Affinity's Social
resignation letter - sent on Tuesday 11 October 2022.
Those of you who attend SIT meetings regularly will know
that I’ve been absent for a year or more.
For decades, my mother lived in Reading and I used SIT
meetings as a bonus to visit and stay with her. Though
she died in January 2021, my SIT attendance still involves
three days of travel but now an additional two nights in a
hotel. This is no longer a sensible use of my time or
money. So it is with some regret that I tender my
resignation from the Team. Please, no ifs, no buts, no
Zoom thank you. I have moved on.
I was first invited to speak at a FIEC’s Christian
Citizenship meeting, the forerunner of the SIT, in the late
1980s on the subject of genetics and gene therapy in a
rather dingy side room at Westminster Chapel. I
presumed they liked me because I was subsequently invited to
join the Committee.
I recall several meetings. For instance, when I was
chairman, I invited Ann Widdecombe and Martin Bashir to
address us, though, of course, not together. She tore
into us Protestants, while he seemed pleasant enough.
Perhaps the saddest meeting was when we learned that the
Affinity bosses refused to adopt a position paper that we
had drafted stating that human life begins at fertilisation
/ day one. I should have resigned there and then.
However, there have been jolly times and I have met and been
encouraged by numerous transient members, learned much about
some important issues, and made some lifelong friends.
I wish you all well and may your futures be fruitful as you
wrestle with those fundamental issues on the SIT agenda.
With Christian greetings,
of appreciation from SIT members.
You will be missed. Thank you for all you have done. And
thanks for still letting The CI use your stuff…
Simon (Deputy Director for Public Affairs, Christian
Thank you for your service and faithfulness John. I too
would have been gutted by that denial of a position paper.
Presumably it's been adopted since or do you know? I have
valued your clear points on bioethics and life issues.
I pray God blesses and keeps you and hope that our paths
Regan (Pastor, The Angel Church, London).
It has been very good to get to know you through SIT and
your wisdom, experience and expertise will be greatly
I hope we can continue to connect from time to time and stay
in touch with your ministry.
Tim (Head of Public Policy, Christian Concern).
Thanks so much for your fellowship and input during my ten
years with Affinity. I really enjoyed getting to know you
and to appreciate your seemingly boundless energy for
writing and working. I know the SIT will really miss your
contributions, both in person and in print. Also, I always
appreciated the fact that I never had to correct any of your
grammar or punctuation - well, except for your insistence on
two spaces between sentences (a throwback to typewriters and
the monospacing of all the letters, meaning that two spaces
were needed to emphasise the break).
Also, I didn’t know that Saint Anne had been a previous
visitor to the group. I would have loved to be there for
Matthew (Former secretary for the SIT).
Well, this is the end of an era. All those involved with you
can be nothing but grateful for your many years of faithful
service and informed guidance as chairman, as editor of the
Bulletin, and as producer of expert papers, and for your
friendship and fellowship throughout. I personally greatly
appreciated the benefit of your significant contribution in
all these roles. Your explanations of complex or narrow
specialist issues were always so clear than even I (who at
school only opted for arts subjects whenever given the
choice) could fully understand them. I was present at
the Ann Widdecombe meeting. She certainly did give us all a
thorough dressing-down. I don't remember the Bashir meeting.
It was probably in my time, but I must have been missing for
some reason. I remember a meeting with (now the Rt Hon Sir)
Stephen Timms, MP. Was that at your invitation? I remember
him saying how much he loved Ely Cathedral, but I can't
recall what possible relevance that might have had to our
discussion with him.
I completely concur with your comments about the failure of
Affinity to adopt the position paper on when human life
begins. With any other imagined starting-point to life,
Psalm 139, Matthew 1:20 and Luke 1:35 make no sense at
all. Whatever your "move on" involves, I trust
you will be led to other spheres of usefulness.
With warmest regards, in the Lord,
Rod (one-time staff member at FIEC).
I’m sorry to see you go! Your insight was so valuable
on bio issues and wider challenges. I much appreciate your
years in service especially done with a cheery sense of
May you and your family experience much blessing,
Yours in Christ,
David (Partner at Moore Barlow LLP).
As David has already said, we are so grateful for all
your contributions and faithful service over many
years. I have enjoyed getting to know you a bit
and your direct and simple explanations and your heart
for biblical principles to be applied to all areas of
I am not familiar with the context for your position
paper being rejected. I believe it was part of wider
debate about all the papers, but it was before my time
and I cannot usefully comment further. For what it’s
worth I would content that human life begins at
May God bless you and use you in the future!
As a postscript, do you have any suggestions of
recommendations for someone who may be a suitable
replacement for you in that area of expertise?
With love in the Lord Jesus Christ,
Graham (Director of Affinity).
Thanks for your many years of service.
Stephen (Public Engagement Coordinator at Free Church of