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Sunday Night Confessions? Christianity as a weapon. Charles Spencer tells The Oldie of the Headmaster who used Christianity as his 'perverted card'

Blog | By Amelia Milne | Mar 09, 2024

Earl Spencer by Neil Spence Photography

Charles Spencer recounted, to The Oldie Literary Lunch today, the stories of 24 boys who had been at Maidwell Hall in 1972 and the story of how the headmaster's religion had affected them.

The headmaster told one boy that he was 'outraged that the boy's parents were getting divorced'. This was something that the boy was clearly struggling with. The headmaster announced, 'I think you should consider me as your father now'. The boy was taken down on Sunday evenings for what were called 'Sunday Night Confessions'. He had to strip and tell the headmaster all the things that he had done wrong that week. He hadn't done anything wrong; so he invented 'little schoolboy crimes', said Spencer.

Charles Spencer said, 'Maidwell Hall is actually a very good school now - that's not lawyers asking me to say that'. Charles told us: 'I have friends with children there (Maidwell Hall) and they seem to like it very much'

Earl Spencer called the book A Very Private School 'because that is how it thrived'. Charles recounted the horrendous experience of having a paedophile and sadist headmaster. 'It was utterly terrifying for all of us.'