HTB faces protest over Goldman Sachs links

By staff writers
May 14, 2013

One of Britain’s most prominent churches is facing criticism and protest after inviting executives from the investment bank Goldman Sachs to speak at its “Leadership Conference”. The company is accused of tax avoidance, food speculation, undue influence over government and profiting from the arms trade.

Holy Trinity Brompton, in central London, is home to the world famous Alpha Course and is a centre of evangelical Anglicanism.

Members of Christianity Uncut and the Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament will hold an act of witness outside one of the conference’s two venues, St Paul’s Church near the Royal Albert Hall. They will hand out flyers and start conversations from 6.00pm today (14 May).

Other speakers at the Leadership Conference include the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

But the speakers who have caused the most anger are Brian Griffiths, vice-chair of Goldman Sachs and Benjamin Grizzle, an executive director of Goldman Sachs.

Other controversial speakers include Chris Hyman, chief executive of Serco Group, and Richard Dannatt, former head of the UK army.

A Christianity Uncut spokesperson described both Goldman Sachs and Serco as “companies with horrendous human rights records”. She explained, “We’re appalled that a church is giving a platform to these people and worse still, marketing them as great leaders and role models.”

Holy Trinity Brompton maintain that the event will help equip Christians with a greater understanding of leadership. Christianity Uncut’s spokesperson said, “Jesus didn’t lead like this. It doesn’t matter how good you are at communicating – it’s the message that counts.”

Organisers of the act of witness have asked those who cannot join them to pray and to tweet about the issue using the hashtag #LC13.

For more information on the conference and the act of witness, please see http://christianityuncut.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/jesus-didnt-lead-like-....

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