I first became aware of the Zephaniah Trust via my daughter, Katharine, when she was at primary school. She used to go to a youth club at Heaton Baptist Church and came back with tales of a man with a big bushy beard who played the guitar and taught her songs.
Quite a few years later I joined Shipley C.E. Primary School as Deputy Head and, in conversation with John, discovered it was he who had entertained, amused and educated Katharine. I still maintain that John owes me a glass of wine based on this relationship. Out for a special birthday meal with my family, Katharine was telling us the tale of how the song ‘Don’t you know?’ was developed at the Baptist church youth club. She demonstrated the wide gesture for ‘Creator of the ends of the Earth’ and swept my glass of wine on to the floor. So, how about it John?
In my school role I have seen many examples of the fantastic work of the Zephaniah Trust. Engaging Year 6s is a difficult task, but I have seen Julie hold several hundred under a spell during the annual leavers’ service at Bradford Cathedral. John’s assemblies are a high point in the life of our school, and the children feel very comfortable with him. The annual Light Party is a wonderful example of John and the team taking light into dark corners, and gives an important message to all of the children who attend. Long may the Zephaniah Trust continue to spread the Christian message.