Bishop of Sherborne warns Britain First… that the established and local Church wants nothing to do with anything which incites hatred, and spreads fear and mistrust

Following on from the revelation that the fascist, racist far right group ‘Britain First’ intends to stand a candidate in the council elections, in Littlemoor/Preston, Weymouth in May, the Bishop of Sherborne has intervened. The candidate Ken Kearsey who describes himself as a ‘Christian’ has been warned that he cannot support and promote hate and be a Christian. Mr Kearsey has chosen the former.

It is a relief that the church has intervened. We must all stand up to these ‘people’ and not let them polute our communities and the minds of our children.

 

From: Bishop Sherborne
Sent: Monday, 18 March, 14:42
Subject: Letter [Scanned]
To: ken kearsey

Dear Ken

Please find attached a letter which you need to read as a matter of urgency.

The Rt Revd Karen Gorham
Bishop of Sherborne

Mr K Kearsey

March 2019

Dear Ken

It was brought to my attention yesterday that you are involved in the organisation ‘Britain First’ and are standing for election in the Littlemoor/Preston Ward in the forthcoming elections.

In doing some research I now know this to be true from the Britain First web site. You may not be aware but the Church of England has formally renounced any far right organisation, banning in particular clergy from joining extreme right political parties (particularly the BNP and the National Front).

The far right polictical [sic] party Britain First has been criticised by every major Christian denomination in the UK. Their claiming to defend Christian values is demonstrated by a hatred of Islam.

The established and local Church wants nothing to do with anything which insights [sic] hatred, and spreads fear and mistrust, particularly amongst some of our most vulnerable people. In Dorset we pride ourselves in our care, concern and respect for everyone and celebrate our diversity and in our County [sic] there is no place for division.

I am therefore writing for a number of reasons. Firstly to challenge what you say about yourself [sic] being a ‘committed Christian’. Both the local church and the diocese are not willing to be associated with any right wing organisations and their beliefs and would be willing to say so, therefore it is important that you discuss this matter with your local parish priest and spiritual director. Your affiliation will almost certainly harm the churches [sic] witness in places like Littlemoor and Crossways.

Secondly it was only recently that you were commission [sic] as a Lay Pastoral Assistant. Sadly I have no alternative than to remove this commission if you continue to be a member of Britain First and exhort [sic] their views. I have today discovered that you have also been exploring vocation in the diocese which again will not be considered if you continue your political involvement.

And thirdly, in the circumstances I will not in all integrity be able to receive your vows as planned on Palm Sunday. Jacquie is aware of this and agrees that making those vows believing as you do, will be contrary to the Christian Faith as it is expressed in this country through the Church of England. We are called to love all our neighbours, to make for peace and seek the common good.

I am sorry I have to write to you about this matter however it is a serious one. The beliefs and practices of Britain First (led by a former member of the BNP) are not supported by the Christian denominations in this country, and the actions of the organisation are deeply provocative, self serving and not recognisable actions motivated by Christian faith as I know it and teach it.

If you continue to stand as you are doing, you need to be aware you will not be supported by the local church or diocese, who will probably be forced to speak out against what Britain First stands for. I would ask that any reference to the diocese, the Church of England or the local church be removed from any literature which is distributed.

Maybe you did not realise some of what I have been stating. If that is the case it is not too late to withdraw all involvement. Whatever, if you are a man of faith, I ask you to seriously consider what you are doing in a prayerful way.

I was very much looking forward to being with you on Palm Sunday, however am relieved that this has come to light beforehand and the incompatability [sic] of beliefs acknowledged. At a time when we are seeking mutual respect, tolerance and love amongst people of different faiths to counter hartred [sic], particularly in the light of what has happened in New Zealand, you will hopefully understand why I need to write this letter.

I would ask that you email me a response by return. By the middle of the week the diocese will have no alternative but to issue its own press release because of the damaging effect this will have on our work

Yours sincerely

The Rt Revd Karen Gorham

Ken Kearsey’s response:

‘I genuinely feel I am doing God’s will, I am 100% committed to Britain First and I will not back down. Please share the letter… I think it shows the Anglican Church in a very poor light, they will come out of this looking intolerant and bigoted. I never thought that I would be a martyr for the cause! What next?!’

Many members of the community will support Littlemoor and Preston members and other parts of the community when these vile things attempt to contaminate.

If you have a problem with bigotry threatening your community let us know.

For those who sympathise with the hate mongers where were you?

Douglas James