Types of Families and the Role of a Christian Christening

Family | Families | Value & Beliefs



A nuclear family



“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savoured.”

Earl Nightingale


Now is a good time to reflect and consider the importance of families. I’m sure that in our daily lives, we do not take time to consider their importance and value.

Let’s start by examining the variety of family life.

Have you the big picture?

Let’s start.



Families thrive and exist throughout the world in contrasting communities, cultures, and societies. In the ideal world, the glue that holds it together is based upon trust support, affection, intimacy, and support. The concept of family refers to a group who are related by emotional, strong psychological, adoptive, sexual, or biological bonds. From the birth of siblings and in the early years the family is the primary object of individuals orientation.

On the shadow side and in the reality of everyday life there may be tensions preventing the effective functioning of the family unit.

There are many variations of the family. Our self-selecting social groups may inhibit the awareness of the many types of families that make up society.



A newborn baby and mother

Different types of families exist in our communities. These may be the traditional nuclear family:

Wife and husband with biological or adoptive children.

A single parent and children.

Husband and wife without children.

Siblings without parents.

Other forms of a nuclear family may be based upon:

Children living with guardians.

Unmarried heterosexual couples living together.

Same sex couples living together.


So, there you are. That is a lot more than you may have considered.

How do we begin to provide structure, support, guidance, and education to develop or promote the well-being of the family?



Grandparents  are family and extended family

It’s taken me a long time to recognize this, but here is my starting point. It starts with a good early years education not only in a nursery but by the nuclear and extended family in the home providing a framework.

Different culture and religions provide guidance in the socialization of the family. Within the Christian doctrine a christening provides a pathway and direction to their values and beliefs.


























Here, a child will be baptized with water to initiate the journey of faith. It’s the start of a process to help them make the right choices in life, both for themselves and others:

Providing support and sensitive guidance for making good choices.

Support and help through good and bad times.

Helping the child to talk about the big questions of life:






“My parents were in the local church choir, and I used to go along and sing and play the organ at all the weddings and christenings.”

Dolores O’Riordan



Go your own way – via Europe 2 Paris


Eddy Jackson | Editor | Communication UK Digital Learning Services

Nuclear Families and the Extended Family



My reflections of a niece returning home to her birthplace and a family gathering.   




Last week thirty-two extended family members celebrated the return to the UK of one of its loved relations. Babies, great grandparents, proud parents, brothers, and sisters shared the jubilation and joy of seeing someone they love who emigrated to Queensland ten years ago. 

It was a poignant occasion. 


A mother, grandmother, aunty, and sister-in-law - The importance of family


Image - Cousins at family renuion

Everybody enjoyed the occasion.

They cared for these distant relatives. 

I think for many, it was a powerful and touching event. 

Families are important. 

After everyone left, I was left thinking, considering, and reviewing why people travelled hundreds and for some, tens of thousands of miles. 

During the darkness that night, I think I had a personal revelation, an epiphany, and redemption about the influence and power of blood ties and families. I may have neglected this in my earlier life. 

For some considerable time since urbanisation, the impact of work, careers, and jobs, lifestyle have disturbed and disrupted the concept of family. 

Roles and responsibilities have become more fluid. 

Yet, the nuclear family and through blood ties, the extended family still has significance.

Do you benefit from or support relations? 

A grand/great grandmother and mother on family relations.


Quote by a Mother, Grandmother, Aunty, and Sister-in-Law:

"I think family is very important. It is like the social glue that binds everybody together. I think the relationship you have with the different generations very important, especially as you get older it helps you stay young and in contact with new and up to date things. And I think when we have large family gatherings, it's good to see everybody that's related to you."

Are blood ties, across families important?



A grandson and lost grandfather


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Enquiry based student tasks using multimedia learning resources encouraging the use of encyclopaedias, textbooks, dictionaries, specialist Internet sites, CD-ROMs and a range of learning and teaching styles.


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Healthy Living - How to survive sex, drugs and alcohol

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Careers Education - Key skills 

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Digital Assembly Resources for Educators SMSC PSHE Learning Resources for Assemblies and Circle Time



Assembly and Circle Time  - Free SMSC PSHE Lesson Plans and Scheme of Work

Assembly Concept and Theme: Me

Start with the learner’s immediate needs and the environment. Present, discuss and highlight the importance of the family, the home, friendship, care, love, warmth and kindness to others, personal likes and dislikes in food, clothes and events

Free Lesson Plans and Scheme of Work

Download Digital Assembly Resources for Educators SMSC PSHE Learning Resources for Assemblies and Circle Time





Assembly Concept and Theme: Me

Links and Relationship Circle time, PSE, Citizenship, Health Education. Early Years Curriculum.

Key Words me, brother, sister, mum, dad, friend, care, kind, love, like, do not like

Activity Learning Objectives

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To respond to visual/ auditory/ tactile stimuli by eye/movement or vocalisation.

To focus/eye point visual stimuli

To focus on the video, big book, adult, photographs.

Taste and Smell

To respond to tastes and smells by eye/movement or vocalisation.


To respond to tactile stimuli by eye/movement or vocalisation. To reach for tactile stimuli.

To mouth and explore by hand tactile stimuli.


To be able to join in songs and rhymes. To join in actions/ PCS symbols.

To listen and join in the activities. To follow instructions

To eye point/point or vocalise family members.

To be able to act out stories with puppets or role- play.

To be aware of ‘me’ through feelings, emotions and reactions to events with parents, friends, class mates, favourite toys.

To be able to point to and/ or name body parts.

Resources and Development

Use structured activities from the communications, literacy, topic, art, music & movement lessons to provide familiar and practise skills to develop a better understanding of themselves, their body, their actions and emotions.

Develop concept of ‘Me’: my family, my friends, and my class. Who I am? Where I live.

Present a selection of choices such as food, clothes, toys, etc. compile an inventory of likes and dislikes.

Progress the theme by using images, symbols and text of the above, sort into sets

Articulate a range of emotions: happiness, sadness, pain, feeling good, and likes/dislikes, through reading and role- playing stories.



Eddy Jackson | Editor | Communication UK Digital Learning Services

Outdoor Learning For People With Disabilities and Special Needs



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Gary Knapton Salford Writer A Video Showcase About Universal Credit Sanctions

Angst and rage are a feature of the UK's welfare payments system.

A Salford resident, commentator, and writer, Gary Knapton, explores key issues on the impact of Universal Credit payments in videos showcasing key issues.

Taking an ethical viewpoint Knapton develops key themes and describes how citizens address the governments systemic failings.




Gary Knapton is a Salford author and commentator




Eddy Jackson | Editor | Communication UK Digital Learning Services

360 Video Storytelling


Man with hand up


360-Degree Videos and Storytelling


"I think we're moving into a dangerous

medium with virtual reality.”

           Stephen Speilberg





The 360 video medium is dangerous. It allows viewers to make choices to control their own decisions where to gaze. You do not have to follow the storyteller's or director’s gaze. 360 video technology creates new opportunities and ways of interacting.

Presence – The Key Feature

A core principle for 360 videos creators is evoking emotional responses from the spirit of the space, its vibes, and energy. It is the prompting of new sensory insights and responses to the characters or landscape in the new 360 domain.  These are not from viewing a traditional series of linear events.

Productions, stories, or features created in 360 VR need a fitting story aura to match the new possibilities of the medium.

Unlike the traditional linear photoshoots or film production recounting events, the mantra for 360, is about something illustrating new perspectives, different insights, and concepts from alternative storytelling viewpoints.




Agency To Create New Perspectives

Here the audience can construct their meaning and understanding through interacting with the 360 space. The task of the video maker or storyteller is to provide choice, opportunities, and the possibility of derivative sub-stories emerging.

What are the merits of 360 videos, VR, and AR?

By creating viewers with personal agency, producers are allowing other possibilities to emerge from the exploration of the story’s content. New frameworks are about structuring exploration of new experiences.




Storytelling Deconstruction

The deconstruction of the old storytelling formulae is the starting place. Experiences of the viewer’s presence come first with the story following their perceptions within the 360-degree video.

“It’s storytelling captured in a medium that can highlight or enhance aspects of a place, time, or event”.

                                                                                                                                                                           NYT VR


VR video allows you to experience the space with a greater percentage of realism.





360-degree videos are about immersion, presence, and new perceptions. It can be manipulated allowing viewers to be active, gaining new insights, and creating their own stories.




Eddy Jackson | Editor | Communication UK Digital Learning Services

Bias Propaganda Tendentious Media


Lady with microscope

Bias Propaganda and Tendentious Media

A significant feature of today’s zeitgeist is divided contentious national identities.




Popular media communications such as newspapers, social media, and interest groups control, operate and are established only to show, endorse, and present their highly selective, compartmentalised views of the world.

The title of this speech, bias, propaganda, and tendentious media, now needs another ominous noun to elucidate the meaning of these words and their implications, indoctrination.


Identity groups



Ask yourself questions about the meaning, the influence, and power of these concepts.  

Are you aware of the processes involved?

What is the impact, effect and outcomes for you, your community, and society?

Where and how does it start?

How does this happen?

What are the strategies to counter bias, propaganda, tendentious tweets, and indoctrination?

The language and cultures of the democratic free world facilitate these concerns. For totalitarian states, these concepts are the de facto modus operandi.

Now, let’s examine the meaning of these words.


Snowflake millenial generation man jumping




Inclination or prejudice for or against one person or group, especially in a way considered to be unfair.

A concentration on or interest in one particular area or subject.


Information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.

The dissemination of propaganda as a political strategy.


Expressing or intending to promote a particular cause or point of view, especially a controversial one.


The process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.


Online Tendentious Media




Now put these words into context by reviewing the great British tradition embedded into the fabric of the nations daily lives, the nasty and vicious morning newspapers.

Due to current online trends, this excludes millennials and the snowflake generation.

Compared to The Chinese People’s Daily, or the Russian Pravda, does The Times and The Daily Telegraph produce a balanced, independent, impartial news, views, comments, and features?


Let's dig down and look at the heritage and pedigree of established, long-serving well-known journalists: Janet Daly, Isabelle Oakenshott, Polly Toynbee,

Quentin Letts, Charles Moore, and Tim Montgomerie.

What does that say about their newspaper’s ethos, culture, and viewpoints?

What was the message of the British twentieth-century newspapers? The Daily Record, The Sketch, The Express, The Mirror, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The People, and The News of The World?

Whom did they represent? Who owned this media?

Do you like to be well-informed, have educated insights, and be knowledgeable?

Generations of post-war baby boomers have been brought up reading newspapers. Here, the reader's diet will have consisted of what?

Imagine a young person delivering newspapers in this era. While they posted and read the headlines, the leading features would immediately provide detailed insights containing bias, propaganda, and tendentious media. The reader brings their own interpretations, values, and beliefs. Are they informed?

The Newspaper business model is not sustainable today. A digital, virtual world driven by sounds, images, and video content has attracted new audiences.


Post-war baby boomers young women



Today we live in very different times? Things have evolved, and technology has led to new ways of communicating.

However, the same issues of bias, propaganda and tendentious media are still all pervasive. Interesting?

What has happened?

Today the use of online media for using, displaying and manipulating bias, propaganda, tendentious tweets, and propaganda is a well-recognised phenomenon.

The ubiquitous echo chambers of the internets social media apps have taken these issues to a higher and a new level.


Responsible media organisations have teams and systems in place to verify the authenticity of facts. They verify the accuracy and honesty of the news.

In the United States the American Press Institute, The Poynter Institute for Media Studies and other news consortiums, like the BBC in the UK, now have strong systems in place to fact check and ensure the authenticity of media.

Can you think of major incidents, events, and scenarios where this has occurred?

For example, immediately after the US president gave a speech on the proposed wall along the Mexican border, news anchors scrambled to fact-check Trump’s prime-time television address.

The Financial Times featured the real reasons for Donald Trump lies at https://on.ft.com/2scILQG

The president’s greatest ambitions are neither financial nor political — they’re psychological, writes Stephen Grosz

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker estimates That during the two years of his presidency, Trump has told some 7,600 lies.

Grosz’s view is that Trump may abuse the truth, so we take notice of him, think about him, become emotionally involved with him. Because he’s in no one’s heart, he wants to be in all our minds. More and more, he is convinced that his greatest ambitions are neither financial nor political — they’re psychological. He wants us never to take our eyes off him. A psychic imperialist, he aims to colonise our minds. He wants to dominate the external and internal landscape.

Moments after President Trump concluded his Oval Office remarks on border security on Tuesday, the NBC anchor Chuck Todd came on the air with a blunt assessment.

“He made a lot of dubious claims,” Mr Todd informed millions of viewers after the network’s scheduled program

The decision by major broadcast networks to carry Mr Trump’s address live set off a fierce debate over journalistic responsibility in an age of unusual mendacity (Mendacity = Untruthfulness) in politics. Anchors responded by delivering a tough-minded assessment of his nine-minute remarks, reeling off several immediate correctives to some of his misleading claims.


New-Politics-social-media-has caused new issues online




What are the answers and solutions to my concerns:

  1. Supporting and using independent, high-quality media delivering in-depth, impartial reporting, g. The London Review of Books.

  2. Using news verification organisations for checking facts.

  3. Providing high standards of education for overcoming ignorance and low levels of literacy.

  4. Governments creating and enforcing laws for preventing hate, bigotry, and sectarianism.



Images © Digital Vision

Eddy Jackson | Editor | Communication UK Digital Learning Services

Family Winchester Royal Hotel Wedding



The Extended Family - An English Wedding

Societies worldwide have established marriage institutions and strong family traditions. The exact scope and nature may vary depending upon the culture.

A feature is that people begin life and stay life members in some form of family.

The exact nature of the family and wedding may vary.


We may belong to a nuclear family or an extended family that includes grandchildren such as nieces, nephews, that come from additional relatives such as sisters, brothers of the wife or husband, or their parents.

A traditional feature of weddings are the invitations to not only close friends but also the extended family kinship relationships.

The social conditions reflecting a culture’s values regulate many aspects of life and marriage. Different societies have rules and precedents about who shall live together, who can marry who, how mates are selected, and the socialisation of children.

In the west, newlyweds establish their households away from their parents.

As a social institution enmeshed into the local community, there are factors that the family perform: providing positive emotional support, affection, and regulating behaviour.




The primary socialising factor for rearing children is the family’s key responsibility. From the early protection and care, infants and children may learn expectations of behaviour. Without this intimate structure, infants are at risk socially, mentally, and physically.

Educational, religious, political, and economic organisations support the process.

Weddings and the emergence of a well-adjusted family may deliver a nurturing, caring environment that benefits children.



The Bride Winchester Royal Hotel Wedding


Future jobs, occupations, and status may reflect your family’s position in the community.

Children from a wedding follow the political, religious, and legal status of their parents.


Eddy Jackson | Editor | Communication UK Digital Learning Services

Homelessness Poverty Universal Credit Crisis Causes

Social housing tenant Universal Credit claimant Manchester writer Gary Knapton






Universal Credit | Increasing Poverty | Homelessness | Debt | Causing Poor Health | Early Death




  1. Higher housing costs.

  2. Social housing privatisation has impacted low-income families and pensioners.

  3. Poor quality jobs.

  4. Lack of social mobility.

  5. Cuts in families’ financial support.

  6. Debt.

  7. Poor health.

  8. Poverty catastrophically restricts people’s day-to-day lives and opportunities.

  9. Deterioration to physical and mental health, healthy life expectancy.

  10. Destitution and debt affect health and well being.


Source: Households Below Average Income (HBAI) and Family Resources Survey (FRS) 2016/17 (JRF Analysis)

Note: Subtotals may not sum to totals due to rounding except figures for persistent poverty which are taken from Persistent Poverty in the UK and EU: 2015 (2017) Office for National Statistics Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/personalandhouseholdfinances/incomeandwealth/ articles/persistentpovertyintheukandeu/2015



From Under A Cloud On Heartbreak Hill

A free social media book about the new British social underclass.


Here is a Manchester Universal Credit claimant and writer reporting the truth.


‘It strikes me that media effortlessly promote their version of the
type of people we are and what universal credit does for us. But no
one knows how it feels and tastes and smells, and what the sense
of hope and shame and despair, and how it really is to be on this
benefit. But people like me do.’ 


Extract - Father Shaun 

Immediately to the south Briar Hill - all but adjacent to the markets that serve the precinct is the Catholic church of St James. It was opened in October of 1975 and is also designed in the modernist style. St James was built to replace a church by the same name that was demolished in 1973 in the redevelopment of the local area. The predecessor had served the local community for nearly one hundred years - first opening its doors in 1875. The first priest there, Father Saffrenreuter, was also a priest to the Salford workhouse. Somewhere underneath the concrete and tarmac of Briar Hill and its surrounding buildings lay an intricate network of foundations of terraced streets - one of which was called Church Street. 

The church of today, if you look carefully, contains clues as to this history. The stain glass window and a collection of statues inside have survived the redevelopment and are now living links to the Victorian past. The house where the Father’s reside - and where I’ve often enjoyed a cup of tea and the offer of biscuits, even cake, is another piece of the continuation. Such a building is known as the Presbytery. We are left with a juxtaposition of architectural styles as is so often found in

British towns and cities - yet here is found within one building alone - as the old priest house connects inwardly by a corridor to a superb modernist chamber of worship. As Mass is due to begin, the Fathers emerge from the corridor into the left-hand nave, by the organ grinder and then swiftly walk across the front and up onto the chancel to commence the service. My favourite features of the church are its “bell” - which sounds authentic but is actually a loudspeaker on the roof playing an audiotape of a ringing bell and the Mater Dei shrine to the front end of the right-hand nave - another link to the past. The full name of the demolished church was actually Mother of God & St James - and Mater Dei is the Latin for “Mother of God”. The exposed brickwork on the interior generates a distinct modernist feel to the whole experience of taking Mass there. 

I am not Catholic. I was baptised in a Church of England church - and so if you are inclined to worship in a Catholic church without faking it, there are various processes and ceremonies built into the service as it unfolds, where you get to declare your authentic status. My mum, who is Catholic, has taught me over the years, by providing handy little pointers when I have fallen foul of the traditional rules. 

The most obvious ceremony would be conversion - by becoming a Catholic. This is called Confirmation. I refuse to “become” a Catholic in this way as it would demolish my past and my real story. It would entitle me to engage in Mass in a fully inclusive fashion as if I had been born a Catholic. This re-writing of history and papering over the contradictions of my behaviour in favour of a more pleasing personal presentation really offends my sense of authenticity and reeks faintly of image management. 

Yet by crossing my arms and by placing each hand on opposing shoulders when I queue up for a blessing, by forsaking the Holy water wash on entering the church and by being open and honest about my religious status, the church next door lovingly creates a space for me to join in its practices. 

I’ve attended Mass at quite a few Catholic churches over the years, but St James is uniquely noteworthy. It is usually busy with a lively mix of people from Briar Hill and the streets that fall away from it. All ages. All ethnicities. Exquisitely turned out families of Afro-Caribbean origin in their Sunday best. Strapping local lads covered in tattoos adorning closely shaven hairstyles and toying with their phones, having just clocked off a night shift. Children running around. Babies being held. Whole four-generation family chains commanding aisle to aisle benches. Young married couples leaning into each other to share a hymnbook. Polish, British, Spanish, Baltic, Jamaican,

Ghanaian. It’s pretty awesome. If you think churches in this country are on the slide - and they are

- here is one that creates quite the opposite impression. 

Father Shaun has been working in Salford for fifteen years and the vibe he has created in his church is probably the most noteworthy quality of all. There’s a tension in church gatherings - particularly Mass - between relaxed and formal. Between engaging and spectating. The urge to “be on your best behaviour” is a throwback to a disciplinarian and stricter, more rigid past - and although humility and reverence are obviously vital attributes, they can spill over into a fear or at least a discomfort that still runs through many people when they take their pew. In some churches I visit, this makes for a very wooden service where the sharp corners of ceremony drown out the gentle curves of personality and creative expression. A childish obedience is not what is required of churchgoers. More precisely, an adult emotional submission and intellectual engagement are required. 

There’s a practical necessity for quietness and order which runs up against the modern values of individuality and personal freedom. So, as church numbers are dwindling, how do you pull people into line without sending them packing? In a fast, noisy, always-on world of peak privilege and individual entitlement - how do you get people not just to be quiet for a short while but to genuinely listen to your sermon - not just to hear your words but somehow to muster up enough concentration and effort to intuit the message that lay beneath the words? The menu is not the meal,

after all.

Father Shaun always leaves me feeling deeply appreciative of all the obstacles he faces since he appears so effortlessly to overcome them. He will tell jokes, make people smile, referring to members of the congregation by name, mid-sermon. He will ad-lib and yet he will command an utmost respect from everyone in the house. Some parts of Mass are about citation and paying lip service to mantras, hymns and responses. But Shaun will always add colour to these parts of the programme by making key points in his own style. Using his own words and telling a very unique, personal story - calling on local tales for analogy and really making the point of why we are all gathered in his church. Bringing the Mass to life. 

Only somebody who has every facet of the more serious side of this art mastered can relax into informal, light-heartedness and good humour without losing reputation for their command of the more challenging parts of the work and this is Father Shaun indeed.

For me, nothing caps the sense of community here on Briar Hill, nothing brings it all together, quite like receiving the holy blessing from Father Shaun on a Sunday morning when I stand before him, head bowed, my posture indicating that I have no Catholic affiliations, while he gently places his hands upon my head and states “God bless you, child” and then swiftly mutters “Good to see you Gary, mate.” 

I am never urged or pressured to consider conversion - even when I am sat in his Presbytery drinking tea and putting the world to rights, blaspheming as I do with a healthy dose of “God knows” and Jesus! 

Father James

I first encountered Father James while working out on the free weights in my gym. I was on the smith machine. He was doing bench presses. 

James is in his twenties and as a young man of the church was still learning the ropes at that time. He’s a good soul. A deeply conscientious man who gave every second minute of the day to the higher cause. He really knows his stuff and his sermons at Mass when I attended were carefully prepared, articulated, inclusive and effective. He was great to listen to. Like Shaun in this respect, yet equally the individual.  

When our friend Richie died, James turned up at the funeral to lend a hand. He doesn’t drive and this was a little out of town but James made it all the same. If he wasn’t burying someone or marrying somebody he was doing Chaplain work at the University or deep in thought of how to make next week’s Mass the best it could be. He’d invite me round for tea and ask my advice on something he was involved in. One week he was counselling a sex addict. The next he was investigating measures for effectively getting people to turn off their phones in church - not by so bluntly as telling them, but by considering how changes to the order of the service, time slots or flow of traffic through the church and the way worshippers were greeted on entering the building might assist in the matter. James was forever thinking of how to make things better in non-confrontational ways. Often, in the middle of our discussions, he’d jump up, grab a pen and scribble something down into a large notepad if we’d broached a subject that he considered worthy of fuller research later. 

If he was giving a speech at some society he was unfamiliar with or working on a cornerstone event within the church calendar he would freely disclose how nervous he was. He made me laugh when, having delivered a very confident, smooth and charming talk or sermon he would turn up afterwards with no idea of how he had come across. 

“Was I alright?” he’d inquire. 

He was still learning his trade so his self-awareness was still formulating. But he was never alright.

He was always first class. He seemed destined for the calling. A natural. 

About eighteen months after we met, James took a parish in California, US, and these days I see him only occasionally when he pops back for a week or so. He’ll WhatsApp me ahead of the flight and should I see him in the street, we hug. 

Father Shaun and Father James are upstanding, decent, compassionate, dedicated, authentic men and I love them both dearly. 


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Eddy Jackson | Editor | Communication UK Digital Learning Services