COUNTDOWN TO NORWICH NORTH BY-ELECTION - 2 DAYS
Leading Norfolk clergymen are calling on voters in Norwich North to shun the British National Party at Thursday's by-election. In a statement, the six top churchmen repeated concerns they expressed before last month's European and county council elections - and distanced themselves from BNP candidate Robert West.
“It is important for us to do so since the British National Party candidate styles himself as 'Revd' and is often to be seen dressed as a clergyman,” they said.
“He belongs to no known denomination and voters should not be misled by his adoption of clerical dress. The policies he promotes are not shared by any of the Churches we serve and are contrary to the teaching of the New Testament. There we read that in Christ 'there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female' (Galatians 3.28).
"Christians in Norfolk and Norwich have had a long tradition of welcoming the stranger. We pray that this generous instinct may continue to be celebrated here.”
The statement is signed by the Rt Revd Graham James, Bishop of Norwich (Church of England); the Rt Revd Michael Evans, Bishop of East Anglia (Roman Catholic); the Revd Graham Thompson, East Anglia District (Methodist Church); the Revd Richard Lewis, regional minister, Norfolk (Baptist Union); the Revd Paul Whittle, moderator, Eastern Province (United Reformed Church); and John Myhill (Society of Friends).
Eastern Daily Press