Talk of the Town

Here is our latest feature in "Talk of the Town", Saltburn's free monthly magazine, delivered to every home:


Kevin had messed up. When a friend offered him cannabis he thought he had nothing to lose. Needing a fix of light-headedness to relieve the stress of adolescence the long term risk of psychosis was far from his thoughts. The experiment became a risky habit. He was caught smoking weed at school. The result: permanent exclusion, just months away from GCSE exams. Reality hit home. Suddenly the future looked bleak. All Kevin’s regrets couldn’t turn back the clock. His mother started the appeal process. The head teacher had some sympathy for the lad, but he needed to give a clear signal to others. On the eve of the hearing he phoned the head teacher of a school some miles away. Could he offer Kevin a fresh start to halt the exclusion process and salvage his future?

Changing school wasn’t easy for Kevin. He knew nobody. Some of the courses were different, and he wasn’t especially academic. At first he struggled to stick to rules. But he settled. He began to thrive. He made a fair stab at his exams and collected a modest crop of grades. But on results day in August there was no sign of Kevin. Then after everyone had dispersed, just as the head teacher prepared to lock up and leave, he spotted a lone figure walking down the school drive to discover results that would secure his place at College. “Kevin, well done lad!” “Thanks, sir. Goodbye – and thanks for giving me a second chance.”

(A true story, but not local, and name changed.) We all mess up, but God doesn’t write us off. “Everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence. But by the free gift of God’s grace all are put right with Him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free.” (Romans 3:23-24)