Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Date: December 20, 2022 06:38PM

New here. Wanted to share the truth about Struthers Church in Wales.

It is an intense, 'be seen, and not necessarily heard unless it's in-line with what leadership say' atmosphere/environment. A controlling one. One wherein you leave your own thoughts and opinions outside the door, as well as a little bit of your personality. But the main problem is the leadership, and let's just call them out.

Gareth and Helen Watkins. Owners of Rolex watches (always posed in photos), 16 houses in total, boats, thousands of pounds-worth of jewellery, lavish cars down the years, designer accessories, and there's always a cruise or two a year, or stays in luxury hotels around the world. Their current property is nothing more than mediocre at best, however all of the above are hardly the modest message that is preached from the front.

As eluded to by others previously, they are racist, prejudice, ageist, and have regularly made discriminating comments in the background with regard to colour/creed/culture/nationality.

Mental health does not exist apparently, and again, as someone else mentioned, children specific disabilities like ADHD, autism, etc are diagnosed by Gareth in particular as curses passed on from family members - they are not real. This is despite the fact that both Gareth and Helen are clearly on the higher end of the autism spectrum themselves, and have passed this onto their children who are all massively on said spectrum also, and even their grandchildren, with only 1 grandchild out of 7 not demonstrating symptoms of autism or ADHD.

They are controllers, they are bullies, they are hypocrites. They are anything but true Christians in their nature and their love for others. Dig deep and you'll see through the guise to the homosexuality present there, the divorces, the broken families who have left because of all of the above. If Scotland could see past this they would certainly remove such people and shut the church down.

More to come.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: December 22, 2022 08:51PM

Hi thetruthneedstobetold, and welcome to the forum. Your user name is spot on – the truth does need to be told, whether that is about owning 16 house (16! really? what happened to the idea of storing up treasure in heaven?) bullying, hidden behaviours or attitudes to mental health.

That last one I find interesting for many reasons, as it seems they pretend it is not real if you are in SMC, but then members are told not to approach those who have left because they have mental health problems. So, if you do have mental health issues (and, let’s face it, we all have mental health just like we all have physical health) then the answer is to attend Struthers where these things apparently do not exist. Of course, people have exactly the same behaviours and symptoms but if you are in Struthers it is apparently no longer mental health – in spite of the fact that there is in fact pretty clear evidence that more people in SMC than outside of it suffer from depression and other difficulties. Not a problem for the Struthers leadership however - all you need to do is create a policy that it does not exist and the problem goes away. The individuals of course still have to struggle through, with leaders not lifting a finger to help.

I would in fact suggest that the vast majority of those in Struthers suffer from one particular mental health issue and that is “learned helplessness”. This is a recognised condition where people no longer try to do something as they have become resigned to failure.

Some of the first work in this area was by Martin Seligman (who also went on to look at the more positive side and authored an interesting book called “Learned Optimism”).

Seligman and Maier (in an experiment that would probably not be allowed these days) gave three groups of dog electric shocks. Two groups had different ways to escape the shocks and the third group did not. All three groups were then taken into a new environment and again given shocks. The two groups that had previously been provided with a means of escape discovered they could again escape, this time by jumping over a small wall.

The third group, who had previously not been given a means of escape, did not even try to escape, resigning themselves to the shocks. They did this even when placed in a group of dogs who did escape.

This sort of thing has been repeated endless times, for example in classrooms where a group of students is given anagrams to solve. What they do not know is that half of the class are given two very easy anagrams, and the other half are given impossible anagrams. They are all then given the same moderately hard third anagram. All of those in the group that had been given two easy anagrams solve the third one, but only about one in ten of those who had been given the two impossible anagrams solve the third one.

That demonstrates that people can learn helplessness in just ten minutes! No wonder it is so hard for people to leave Struthers – they are taught three or four times a week that they are helpless, unable to make their own decisions or achieve anything. If they ask questions (for example, “how do you reconcile your statement that people outside Struthers have mental health issues with your unwillingness to support those in the church?”) then you are side-lined or told you have the wrong attitude. It does not take much of that treatment to teach you that you are helpless and should not even try.

So, what should folks do? A quick google search gives lots of advice, one article suggesting:

    1. Change is possible. If you don't think your finances or life can improve, you won't take any steps to make them better. ...
    2. Think big. ...
    3. Get perspective. ...
    4. Set goals. ...
    5. Achieving successes. ...
    6. Consider a different viewpoint.

All those in Struthers – do you think your personal situation can change? Do you think you can do anything to change things? If not, you may well be suffering from learned helplessness. Have a look at the above list and consider any you might apply.

    1. Believe change is possible. Read through the other testimonies on this website or PM some of those who have posted here to find out more about their experience.

    2. Think big – recognise that your purpose in life is not just to sit demurely in a meeting, you were made for more than that. Think about all you could do – work with a charity; meet new people, learn from them and influence them; write a book, explore new areas…

    3. Get perspective. Is it really reasonable that a group of a couple of hundred people are the only truly spiritual people on the planet? Visit other churches, read other books (some of the CS Lewis ones not on the SMC approved list would be a good start) listen to sermons by people like Tim Keller, or attend good Bible teaching events like the Keswick Convention. (My opinion of course – there may be other and better options!) Or create an anonymous userID for this site and try to tease out what bits of the Struthers doctrine you do agree with and what bits (often not written down or explained explicitly) you are not in agreement with.

    4. Set goals like speaking to some friends about what you actually believe and listening to how they make sense of their life. Invite folk for a meal (Jesus spent much of his life doing that) or reason with people (Paul did a lot of that). Or simply set a goal like getting fitter or taking better care of your finances. Realise you are not helpless!

    5. Achieving Success. There are so many opportunities to succeed in work, family, sports, society, academic study. Set a goal and achieve something. I know Struthers has told you it is all pointless, but it is not – pursuing and achieving success is important (and can help you break out of the learned helplessness).

    6. Consider a different viewpoint. Well, exactly: perhaps this should be number one on the list. As I said quite recently, what if Struthers is 99% correct – should you not try to see if you can find the 1% where they are wrong? Talk to people, read things, watch online sermons, visit other churches etc, NOT to see how they measure up to the (totally unbiblical)standard of Struthers, but in recognition that these are people who have experience and understanding that can be shared. Jesus after all used a huge number of illustrations that were along the lines of, “a shepherd was … a man was building a tower, a lord sent his servant…” In other words, He saw how people lived and how they managed situations and difficulties - and used that as a way of teaching people. Knowledge of society is to be used for learning, not despised.

(I actually feel much of this applies to some leaders as well by the way - they are stuck in their role and feel they have no power to change anything, but that is not the case, they can do what is right, all they need is the courage to do so.)

Sorry – a bit of a long ramble there, but I do worry that those in Struthers do feel totally powerless, and I would like them to know that is not the case. They actually do have the power to leave and experience new things (including a deeper walk with God by the way, no person in Struthers should believe they are missing out on anything by leaving).

Anyway, all that aside, Merry Christmas to all! Whatever your circumstances or beliefs, I hope you all have a peaceful time that recharges your batteries and that 2023 is the year your zest for life is greater than ever before.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Date: May 30, 2023 11:31PM

Hey folks…

So I’ve been a silent follower of this feed for years now and only finding myself able to speak up about some of my experience with SMC Cumbernauld now.

I started going along to SMC Cumbernauld through their links with local Primary schools back in the late 90s and early 2000’s.

My journey with them was very much start stop, spending many years there, finding myself free before falling back into their clutches in my 20s.

I just wanted to pop on to say hello, I’ve recently started blogging about some of my experiences and I’d like to share just a quick post with you all. It’s sad to see so many impacted by the teachings at SMC to this day. I hope that one day their actions are uncovered and they are held account for the damage they have caused so many willing souls who pass through their doors.

‘ Sleepless Nights

Sometimes I lay in a dark room, trying to let my mind drift to sleep and an onrush of my past flashes, like pictures in the back of my eyelids. Taking my thoughts back to darker days when, unbeknown to me I was trapped in a world where nobody met ‘the standard’. Every small inadequacy was pinpointed and made it feel as though you were the worst person on this planet.

In my early twenties I found myself back in the midst of Struthers. I’d recently moved out, found juggling the worries of daily life, finances and a career overbearing and fell back into the one place I thought would help me find peace. Well wasn’t I wrong. But at first it felt good, back surrounded by the people who said they had your back.

I ended up back there for a few years, but there’s too many stories to tell for one post. But the one sticking out for me right now, the way I was made to feel ashamed for having a tipple. I was never a drinker so to speak, I’d take a few drinks at special occasions, let my hair down a bit and blow off steam. Never in the normal world would anyone say I had a drink problem. Struthers however aren’t part of a normal world, within weeks of returning I was shamed into not touching a drop of alcohol. Which was very easy for me as I was never that keen to binge on it anyways. Something changed though, and I was out with family at a 21st birthday. The following Sunday was the start of my wake up call. What the hell had I walked back into.

Now at this point in my life, I’ve got a degree, a mortgage, a career… and yet I felt like I was back in primary school behind scolded for missing classes. Before heading out to said 21st, some family gathered to travel together and we took some funny pictures. Me being the ‘goody toeshoes churchy’ at this point hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol since returning to Struthers. Had actually been shamed into pouring a fortune worth of alcohol down the sink. Things I’d gotten as gifts poured away to satisfy the leaders who seemed to know every little detail of my life. I pretended to be drinking some cheap alcohol someone had brought along, everybody finding this hilarious as I didn’t drink anymore. And even when I did I wasn’t a fan of the cheap stuff.

Anyways my family bought me a couple of normal drinks at the party, and really what was the harm in two or three rums to celebrate. There was no harm really. Nobody knew. I made sure nobody posted on socials with me holding anything other than a can of juice. There really was no shame in this.

The following Sunday came in a flash, with a wee text on Sunday morning from a youth leader asking for one of the dreaded ‘chats’. At this branch of Struthers the invitation for chats was frequent, normally kept until after meetings just so you were in as clean a place as possible for the forthcoming lecture. Now as a woman in her mid twenties who works at a large financial firm, having chats was nothing I wasn’t used to. But Struthers chats were like inflicting torture, sometimes you had days to wait, sometimes hours but the wait was always long and unnerving. What I never expected was to be told there had been complaints about my personal Snapchat story which showed me holding a bottle of cheap alcohol.

Now the people who had access to that story were very few, those who know me would immediately laugh as I wouldn’t be seen dead with such bottles. But here I was, sat down like a 5 year old and told off for having a laugh. Then came the fishing for information, the why, the where was I on Friday night. Do I think it’s appropriate to put myself in these situations knowing the problems I’ve had in the past… well looking back now I didn’t have any problems. But I literally left that church in bits. Felt like I had let the world down for simply spending time with my family rather than being present at the one Friday night I’d missed since returning to Struthers.

Looking back now I find it hard to understand why I let someone make me feel so low, so worthless. That the idea of me having one or two drinks in a safe environment made me an alcoholic. How absurd. But that’s exactly how I was made to feel. My worry now, looking at the big picture is how many others felt that way. How many are still trapped in those stereotypes brandished by SMC. In the Bible itself, Jesus drank wine. The key here, when did SMC change their interpretation of the works of Christ? When did they decide that what they believed was more important that what was written?

I will never understand their need to make individuals feel demoralised, never being enough, always finding fault. We are taught to love one another. Where are these basic Christian foundations in SMC? Buried somewhere deep in their policies, made to bully their members into retreat.

It’s one thing in a very long list of moments at SMC where I was at a cross roads, so many times I was ti scared to even speak my mind. To answer with my version of events, because if they weren’t what the leaders believed then who cared.

Well now I see, there are those who care out there. Care about you as a person and not moulding you into someone you are not.

For how, I will try again to drift off to sleep. This blog is a way for me to draw out the trauma caused by SMC over the course of my life. I’m sure there will be many more to come and I hope that someone finds some solace. You are not alone and please do not feel that way, be you and find the people out there who love you for that, rather than diminish you.’

If you’d like to follow and read more of my experiences with SMC Cumbernauld feel free to message me or follow my blog, []

I hope by sharing my experiences I can both help others facing the same and find some peace in myself about my time with SMC.

Peace Out

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: June 09, 2023 07:35AM

Hi Free@Last_Sometimes
Thankyou for your post and a big welcome to this Forum. Well done for having the courage to post here and well done too for getting yourself out of SMC and walking in freedom, even if you only feel that you’re fully free sometimes (as your name suggests).

Your story is very interesting but also concerning because of the ways in which you were treated, especially as a child and teenager whilst you were in SMC. Your account rings true of course: most of us on this Forum have experienced similar abuses and criticism from leaders when we were in SMC.

Struthers have always had a thing about not drinking alcohol. They major on it as one of the greatest “sins” and condemn anyone who dares to have a glass of wine or a beer at a social occasion or meal out. It reminds me of the story in the Bible where Jesus condemns the Pharisees for focussing on the outer cleanliness of utensils, as a religious ritual, but not bothered about their sinful behaviour and lack of love towards others. Not caring about what was inside their souls. Sure, alcoholism and addictions are serious problems and some people have to abstain completely in order to be free. However, Christians who don’t have addiction issues should be able to have a drink if they want one and nobody else should judge them. It doesn’t seem like you had a problem with alcohol anyway: you were simply out at a family social event. Someone reported you to the leader. What a way to treat you! Yes, a “chat” in the car or at the back of the church: many of us have had to suffer this indignity.

However, even if folk abstain from alcohol and wear the right clothes, the SMC leaders will still find fault with them in some way. One can never measure up, never reach the high grade for God that we’re told we have to attain. The view is that We’re too sinful and we’ll never make it. All of that leads to very low self-esteem and negative thoughts and feelings.

I can assure you that there is plenty of un-Christian behaviour within SMC. They are not the squeaky clean people which they claim to be. They are not holier than Christians in other churches despite continually making that claim. They are not closer to God than Christians in other churches, although they believe that they are. I have met some lovely, kind people in other churches, people who live in holiness and have a sincere love for others.

Anyway, I’m so glad you got out of SMC. Being drawn back after leaving does happen but eventually people realise why they left previously and do not return again. Once people get a firmer foundation to set their life on, they do not have a need to go to a cult-like church where they’re told what to do and how to think and how to live. We can make decisions for ourselves and make our own choices about what we do and how we do it.
So, you keep going, Free@Last_Sometimes and post more of your story. We’d love to hear more. I have read your blog too - very well written and well explained. Please keep writing.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: June 22, 2023 05:13AM

Hi Free@last_sometimes, and welcome to the forum.

It is remarkable to see new people still coming forward to talk about the abuse they have suffered at the hands of the Struthers leadership. There must be near sixty people now - sixty people that could do with a bit of understanding and support but are just ignored by the Struthers leadership. Totally callous and the opposite of the approach encouraged in scripture.

What you experienced was just horrible and degrading and does nothing to promote the Kingdom of God. What possible justification do they have for that sort of behaviour? If it is because they think that getting people to give up alcohol with lead to revival, they have had 30 or 40 years to prove that approach works, and have failed miserably.

One of the interesting things is that you (like others) were pulled up about alcohol, which is not something that is prohibited in the Bible. Gluttony on the other hand is regularly condemned in the Bible, but I have never heard of anyone in Struthers preaching about that. Wonder why that is? Any suggestions anyone? :-)

It is just another example of them making up their own rules rather than teaching what scripture says. Picking bits they like and totally ignoring any bits they do not like.

On another topic, I hear that a few people including the leader Alison Spears have left the Glasgow church.

In any other organisation, that would lead to a period of analysis and self-review. People would be asking "was there something I could have done?" or "can we change the system in some way?" That is of course particularly true of the Early Church - have you ever noticed that the early church was always discussing things and listening to different points of view to see how they could improve things for people?

You will unfortunately not see that in Struthers though. The believe the leaders are perfect so there is no point in any sort of self-review, there is nothing they could ever want to change, and they do not care how people are affected.

I think there is literally nothing that would make them think about what they are doing. They could all be stuck down with a mystery plague that only affects people in Struthers, or lightning could strike three of their churches simultaneously, or a voice could thunder from heaven and they still would not blink. The deliberately make themselves blind to events which is, again, the exact opposite of what scripture teaches.

I do feel sorry for this sitting in the pews however, as they are not allowed to develop and enjoy their christian life, but have to direct their loyalty away from God and to the leaders, getting nothing back.

Pretty sad, and increasingly proving to be an ineffective way to run a church.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/22/2023 05:15AM by ThePetitor.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Date: July 04, 2023 12:01AM

Hello everyone,

I've been reading this forum for a long time and thought I'd share my experience with Cedars School of Excellence. I had attended the school for many years but had quit owing to a lack of diverse education and financial concerns. As soon as I left the school, I recognised how closed off and autonomous it is, and I evaluated the distinctions between it and the present school I was in.

Because I enrolled at an early age, the school's flaws did not become obvious to me until I was 11 (around primary 7 or secondary 1). Despite the fact that I had witnessed frequent favouritism in schools and during events since a young age. People who were related to teachers or the church in some way were always chosen first, regardless of how long others had been at the school and were familiar with their system. Prizes and home points were always granted to individuals who were members of the SCM, or their test scores were always suspiciously high, despite the fact that practically every other person who was not a member of the community had never achieved anything at that level. Myself and many others were left out and were unable to accomplish that level because I am not a member of the SCM community. My grades had curiously climbed considerably when I switched schools.
Understandably, it could have been the way the school operated that didn't work for me; yet, I have heard similar comments from others after they had graduated.

Previous messages mentioned how they are highly closed off and have little touch with anybody outside of Struthers. This is especially true when discussing teachers. There isn't a single teacher in the school who isn't a member of the SCM, and they recently refused to locate a new head teacher outside the church. I'm not sure if there's a reason for this or if they just don't like outsiders. When I was in Cedars, I had many acquaintances, and the primary thing I saw was that they were all raised not to have any contact with other churches or to have friends outside the community.
A couple of my friends were likewise really apprehensive when speaking to their parents about doing something wrong and/or not doing something wrong in the future. Now, my motto for growing up is that 'the more mistakes you make, the faster you will learn and grow,' and I would expect that individuals in a religious community or even as a parent would promote that rather than stopping them from making basic mistakes that every human being makes.

The school is unequal and contains a lot of sexism, homophobia, body shaming, and humiliation in general. Teachers have made comments on what females wear to school on numerous occasions. Years ago, a girl was wearing leggings for physical education, and some of the boys in her year group made some rude and vulgar comments to her. The girl protested to a female teacher, who told her that if she doesn't want that type of attention, she shouldn't wear leggings. It's definitely the guys' responsibility for being immature, and the teacher's handling of the situation is horrible. This has happened to me as well as several of my friends.

Another incident occurred when a teacher was discussing the uniform and how leggings only look good on slim individuals, but after she said that, she pointed out and questioned a student whether that was true or not. However, the student she had questioned was not the weight she had described, making her feel excluded and embarrassed. I also don't believe that being ridiculed for your body weight is in the bible because God would want everyone to be loved equally! There was a large LGBTQ+ population in Cedars, and many students had spoken out about it so that they could be respected. Many children were frequently advised to seek treatment because they were gay, despite the fact that it is prohibited in school. It had left many people befuddled and mentally ill.

When mental health problems or disorders were brought up they were never looked upon and were always ignored. People were treated worse with disorders and were always short and snappy with and never took their time listening to their problems.

A recent incidence had a head teacher being hostile with a pupil. The student had misbehaved (perhaps by not paying attention in class), and the head teacher ended up striking the student in the face. I agree that the youngster's misbehaviour in class was inappropriate, but acting aggressive towards a child should not be permitted. I'm shocked it didn't spread around and no one checked into it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this! I hope it inspires others to share their experiences with SCM and/or Cedars School of Excellence. May God continue to bless you all.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: July 05, 2023 05:32PM

Hi curiositykillsthecat, and welcome to the forum.

It is really interesting to read of your experience in the Cedars school.

I know very little about the school, but it is interesting how your description of what goes on has parallels with how things work in Struthers churches, as favouritism is very much a way of life, with certain people being given the platform and others simply ignored.

In the church side, they of course argue that it is the spiritual ones that are given the platform, but the evidence is that the church as a whole is declining rather than growing, so there is clearly something wrong with both their discernment and their understanding of personal spiritual growth. Strange how some super-spiritual person ministering to a congregation for 30 or 40 years has no discernible impact!

That is of course also because the fear culture makes it really hard for anyone to take any initiative, which is exactly the kind of thing you describe happening in the school. As someone I know used to say, “Show me a person who has never made a mistake and I will show you a person who has never made anything.”

The point about refusing to appoint a head teacher from outside of the church is also interesting. Religious organisations are of course allowed to discriminate on faith grounds if it is an essential part of the job, so churches can for example rightly insist that applicants for the Ministry have a personal faith, but they do have to be explicit about that. They have to make that part of the job requirement and justify why it is required.

I wonder if Cedars requires all staff to have a Christian faith, or indeed to be part of Struthers.

I am not too worried about the answer to this as long as it is explicit and is consistently applied. If they for example require all teaching staff to be members of Struthers, is that written in the job requirements? If not, do they nevertheless always pick people from Struthers? They should be transparent about that sort of thing so, if it is a written requirement, fine (assuming they can justify it).

If being part of Struthers is not a written requirement abut they still apply it as a secret requirement, that is however clearly wrong.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: July 09, 2023 01:39AM

I see from Instagram that Diana will be preaching in Glasgow this evening on the theme of: “The Church Restored, let the waste places be inhabited”. Guess most of us could guess much of what will be in that sermon.

A few things to bear in mind if listening to that:

1) The sort of “thus sayeth the Lord” approach that is fairly common in the old testament never occurs from the book of Acts onwards. Instead, we see discussion and debate amongst Christians (since the Spirit is given to all).

2) We are told not to believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God (1 John 4v1).

3) We are told how to decide whether a message comes from God, and it is NOT by how you feel in a meeting. Deuteronomy 18v 21 and 22 says: ‘You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.’

I for one am happy to bear that last one in mind and put a note in my diary for say three years from now to check whether anything that was said is of the Lord or not.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Al Duff ()
Date: July 10, 2023 11:51PM

"One of the interesting things is that you (like others) were pulled up about alcohol, which is not something that is prohibited in the Bible. Gluttony on the other hand is regularly condemned in the Bible, but I have never heard of anyone in Struthers preaching about that. Wonder why that is? Any suggestions anyone? :-)" The Petitor.

Plus-size Pentecostalism? :-)

On the school, which Curiosity has raised again (and my sympathy to you), this was one of the key issues where I clashed with 'the leadership'. I remember my horror when they suddenly announced their plan for a cheap private school, dissing state schools as the work of the devil. I went straight up to them and said I thought it was a terrible mistake (for all its excessive 'separation' doctrine, a major strength of the church had always been its involvement with state schools, as pupils, staff, head teachers).

So it proved, syphoning off good people from the state system, removing the proverbial 'salt' from 'the earth', and further isolating a dangerously introverted and spiritually-prideful community.

But as ThePetitor and others have pointed out tirelessly, the leadership never listen; to question anything is to write yourself off in their eyes; to speak out is to put a target on your back. Only yes-men and -women remain, and the organization (in whatever sphere, religious, commercial, charity, political) is then heading slowly but surely for catastrophe.

The result in this case is a church which, so far from leading a nation-wide 'revival', has gone inexorably backwards, and will be increasingly marginal to the spiritual life of the nation - never mind to the public sphere, which they have proved themselves too cowardly to enter!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2023 12:10AM by Al Duff.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: July 12, 2023 09:19AM

Hi curiositykillsthecat and welcome to the Forum.

Thanks for telling us more about Cedars School and about your experiences there as a pupil. We only usually hear from pupils or ex-pupils who have also been, along with their parents, part of Struthers Church, but rarely hear about someone who wasn’t also part of the church. As The Petitor points out, there seem to be similarities between the favouritism and special singling out with school pupils as there is in the church.

The accounts which you’ve given, curiositykillsthecat, are both concerning and shocking. I thought it was against the law for a teacher to strike a pupil. If so, this should have been reported.

You mention girls in leggings. I’ve noticed that the Cedars female pupils wear leggings now instead of the tartan-style skirts they used to wear: this change surprised me because of all the warnings the girls/ladies used to get from Struthers leaders about wearing clothing which was too revealing. But it’s awful that one pupil was made to feel that she was too overweight to wear leggings. That is simply body-shaming and should not be allowed in any school in this day and age. Girls are highly sensitive to such comments and some end up developing eating disorders as a result.

I agree with AlDuff that setting up a church school was not a good idea and took pupils and teachers out from the state system where they could be a good influence and could share the gospel with others. Cedars School has not produced children who are holier and more caring than children from any other school, in my view and in my experience. Some come out thinking they are better than others and are not keen to mix with children at church who don’t attend Cedars School.

I do believe Struthers leaders want every teacher and staff member to be from the Church. They wouldn’t countenance appointing an outsider. But when you look at this objectively, the question must be asked, Why? Well, an outsider would most likely want to change a lot of things and might clash with the other teachers. They would definitely not want to appoint a Head Teacher from outwith the church.

ThePetitor wonders whether they make that explicit in job adverts for the school. I don’t know for sure, but I do know that when they recruit staff to work in the New Dawn coffee shop, they state that it’s a Christian environment and applicants must be in sympathy with the general aims and objectives.

ThePetitor mentioned that Alison Speirs has recently left Struthers along with all her family and some others who wish to support her. This has upset a lot of people and will leave gaps in the ministry. It is a big issue when a leader of longstanding decides to leave the church. I don’t know all that happened but I believe there has been a lot of serious conflict between church leaders in recent months. Maybe, good will come out of this if it makes people realise that they belong to a church which has just the same problems as some other churches and workplaces and is not the holiness-filled church that we keep getting told it is. Let’s hope it will cause eyes to be opened to the reality of what Struthers is really like behind the facade of being the one and only perfect church which you must not ever leave. Well, we have all left and are doing well.

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