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Almost half the 80 patrons of
the Clean Slate Campaign gathered on December 1st 1999, to endorse
the idea of using the approaching new millennium as an opportunity
for a fresh start - personally and collectively. In London's
appropriately-named Reform Club, and by telephone link in Belfast,
Cardiff and Edinburgh, religious and political leaders, sporting
figures, media personalities and people from all walks of ordinary
life, gave their support. The conversation was chaired by former
BBC news presenter Martyn Lewis. See our special
report and pictures.
The Rt Hon David Blunkett, Secretary
of State for Education, sent a special message
The Chief Rabbi issued a press
release about the gathering of patrons on 1 December.
December 3rd: children from Edward
Feild Primary School in Kidlington presented highlights of
their work with the clean slate theme, at a public meeting for
parents and other guests. Local MP Evan Harris spoke.
A special Clean
Slate Week was held in Oxford. See separate page.
cost £30,000, all of which was donated. See details.
BBC News Online's
website ran a Millennium Talking Point about slate-cleaning.
The Birmingham Council of
Faiths invited Edward Peters to address their Forum on November
28th about the campaign.
The BBC News Online website
carries a story
on the campaign, with a link to our website.
A Clean Slate Schools Competition
in Oxford attracted dozens of entries from children aged 5-11.
The prize for the winners was tea with the Lord Mayor of Oxford
in her parlour on December 2nd.
The campaign featured in Cardiff
on Sunday 24 October when the Chairman was guest speaker
at an Inter Faith Celebration to mark the end of One World Week.
Cardiff Central Library is also carrying a major display about
Dozens of church newspapers
and parish magazines have written about the CSC. For example,
The Sarum Link (Salisbury) carried a piece under the headline
'Supporting the CSC at Alderholt'.
The library services in Glasgow
requested posters and leaflets to send to their 35 service points
in the city. In Oxfordshire, all 50 libraries were sent
In Oxford on October 5th the Lord Mayor and other local dignatories
launched the idea of a Clean
Slate Week, to be held at the end of November. See our press release. The following
day, independent Oxford radio station Fox FM carried news of
the special week, including interviews with both the Lord Mayor
and the campaign chairman. Earlier in the summer, The Lord Mayor
sent a letter to all 400 schools in Oxfordshire, commending the
campaign. Her letter enclosed a copy of the special programme
of study for use in primary schools, developed by the staff
of Edward Feild Primary School in Kidlington, just outside Oxford.
A fund-raising dinner in Newcastle on September 19 was attended by 72 people
and raised over £1,100 towards the campaign. The dinner
was organised by Hari Shukla, and his fellow campaign patron
Sir Stanley Bailey, former Chief Constable of Northumbria, also
spoke, encouraging the idea of carrying the Clean Slate theme
well into the next century.
Over a third of local education
authorities in Scotland requested CSC leaflets for sendout
to all the schools in their region.
The seven Scottish patrons of
the campaign signed a letter sent to all 129 members of the new
Scottish Parliament, commending the campaign as something
of value for Scotland. All local councillors in the Strathclyde
region also received a similar letter.
And something a little different,
a letter from someone: "I am pleased to say that my soul
is in pristine condition and I most fortunately have no need
to start with a clean slate." (Anon)
One of the campaign's patrons,
Hari Shukla, hosted its chairman Edward Peters for a two day
visit to Newcastle Upon Tyne from May 24-26. Former Director
of Tyne & Wear's Racial Equality Council, Hari invited leaders
of the area's ethnic minority communities to meet Edward at a
public meeting in the Civic Centre. The meeting was also attended
by representatives of the trade unions, city councillors and
a candidate for the forthcoming European elections. Earlier in
the day Edward was interviewed by BBC Radio Newcastle.
Phil Turner, Principal of West Gate Community College which has
achieved a remarkable turnaround after being on the point of
closure, also welcomed Edward and discussed ideas of how the
campaign could be utilised in his and other schools.
All delegates to the General
Assembly of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh IN May
received a copy of the Clean Slate Guide in their pigeon hole.
Rev Anthony Craig spoke about the campaign in an assembly debate.
"Most Millennium projects are understandably joint or community
efforts," he said. "The Clean Slate Campaign ... is
quite deliberately offered as something for individuals to do
to mark the Millennium. ... Wiping the slate clean is an eminently
Christian idea. This campaign is a door-opener to faith. Its
a challenge to us as Christians to help people, when they do
take a step to wipe their slate clean, that they write something
worthwhile on their clean slate."
Campaign chairman, Edward Peters,
visited Liverpool from May 17-19. On May 18
he was interviewed by Roger Phillips on BBC Radio Merseyside,
along with campaign patron Canon Nicholas Frayling. That evening
there was a meeting of local 'ambassadors' to plan for the campaign's
outreach on Merseyside. The Merseyside Ecumenical News
carried information about the campaign.
A Welsh edition
of the Clean Slate Guide (Ymgyrch y Llechen Lan)
A local councillor in Wales requested
66 copies of the Guide to give to all the county councillors
and community councillors in his area.
A President of a Chamber of Commerce
Trade and Industry sent a copy of the Guide to each of his 4,500
used the Clean Slate idea as complementary to the New Start
theme for the new millennium. One minister wrote, "At last
I have a scheme I can recommend to my congregation with enthusiasm
A Press Release from the Board of Deputies of British
Jews included "The
aim of the Campaign is to encourage people of all faiths, or
none, to take some individual action or decision which will put
right a past wrong." The Boards Director General commented,
"All that the campaign asks is that each one of us should
make some tangible contribution to our society by admitting or
apologising for some wrong that we have done, whether big or
small. By helping clean our own slate, each of us can together
make the world a better place."