news from ekklesia

By staff writers
March 23, 2004

Churches unite against BNP

-23/3/04

More than 200 churches have agreed to campaign against the right-wing British National Party (BNP).

All congregations in the Anglican diocese of Ripon and Leeds will be asked to oppose the BNP as a party which "goes far beyond normal political activity".

The area is being targeted by the BNP for June's local elections, reports the Guardian.

A motion to sign a local statement of unity, drawn up by community groups, was passed at the diocesan synod, with only two votes against.

The Rev Ian Black, vicar of St Mary's, Whitkirk, in Leeds, said: "The BNP is overtly racist. We should speak out now ... I want to make it clear to anyone who votes for them that they are not voting for Christian Britain."

He was backed by a lay member of the synod, David Anthony, who was stationed at the Belsen concentration camp after the war, and by Liz Varley, vicar of Hipswell, who had worked in London's Isle of Dogs.

The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, the Rt Rev John Packer, said there was great value in the diocese affiliating itself with others against the threat of the BNP.

West Yorkshire's five councils are among the BNP's main election targets. Last year the party fielded 33 candidates and polled more than 24,000 votes. This year it plans to field more than 100.

Churches unite against BNP

-23/3/04

More than 200 churches have agreed to campaign against the right-wing British National Party (BNP).

All congregations in the Anglican diocese of Ripon and Leeds will be asked to oppose the BNP as a party which "goes far beyond normal political activity".

The area is being targeted by the BNP for June's local elections, reports the Guardian.

A motion to sign a local statement of unity, drawn up by community groups, was passed at the diocesan synod, with only two votes against.

The Rev Ian Black, vicar of St Mary's, Whitkirk, in Leeds, said: "The BNP is overtly racist. We should speak out now ... I want to make it clear to anyone who votes for them that they are not voting for Christian Britain."

He was backed by a lay member of the synod, David Anthony, who was stationed at the Belsen concentration camp after the war, and by Liz Varley, vicar of Hipswell, who had worked in London's Isle of Dogs.

The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, the Rt Rev John Packer, said there was great value in the diocese affiliating itself with others against the threat of the BNP.

West Yorkshire's five councils are among the BNP's main election targets. Last year the party fielded 33 candidates and polled more than 24,000 votes. This year it plans to field more than 100.

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