Monday, 15 October 2012

Church Leaders speak out against plans for English Defence League march through Norwich

From We Are Norwich:

The English Defence League is planning its first ever march through Norwich on Saturday 10 November.

The leaders of all the Christian denominations in Norwich have issued the following joint statement:-
The intention of the English Defence League to mount a demonstration in Norwich is entirely unwelcome. Norwich has a long history of welcoming strangers, often in considerable numbers. The integration of so many different groups into the life of this fine city is what gives Norwich such richness in its life today. This is a cause for celebration, and we must not allow this honourable tradition to be broken.
Fr David Bagstaff, Diocesan Administrator, Diocese of East Anglia (Roman Catholic)

Major David Jackson, Divisional Commander of the Eastern Region, Salvation Army

The Rt Revd Graham James, Bishop of Norwich (Church of England)

The Revd Richard Lewis, Regional Minister of the Eastern Baptist Association

John Myhill, on behalf of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

The Very Revd Graham Smith, Dean of Norwich (Church of England)

The Revd Graham Thompson, Chair of the East Anglian District of the Methodist Church

Fr James Walsh, Dean of the Cathedral Church of John the Baptist (Roman Catholic)

The Revd Paul Whittle, Moderator of the Eastern Synod of the United Reformed Church


  1. I am delighted that the churches have taken this position and sincerely hope that they will encourage every single one of their congregants to attend whatever counter demonstration takes place.

  2. The English Defence League are intending to hold a demonstration in Norwich to protest at Norwich City Council’s unfair treatment to the Norwich Reformed Church regarding ‘equality issues’.

    A complaint was made by one member of the public to the Police, who took no action against Dr Clifford, but the Council decided to adopt their own politically correct appeasement to this one member of the public.

    Where in this statement does it say the EDL are demonstrating against any ethnic minority/faith/religion? they are demonstrating against Norwich City Council, the only people making an issue of this demo are 'we are Norwich' falsely reporting through pre-conceptions as to why the EDL are there. As you celebrate the citys diversity should you yourselves not be asking the council why they are dealing with cases in such a way?

    East Anglian EDL Admin Team

  3. Hi, again, this is the third identical message I have received, and I see it is from the East Anglian EDL Admin team.
    Nice to be in dialogue, guys, but why send three identical messages?
    This is what I replied to you before:
    The point is, like it or not, the EDL has a bad reputation that recent marches have done nothing to dispel. Last weekend's kettled parade in Rotherham was pointless and expensive (MP McShane says six-figure expensive); in Walsall a pub had a window and bottles broken and outdoor furniture broken up to throw at the police; EDL members have been jailed for attacking staff at office buildings which had hosted anti-EDL meetings; EDL members have also attacked a bookstall in Sandwell; on 7 December 2011, EDL activist Simon Beech was one of two men jailed for 10 years for an arson attack on a mosque; on 5 June 2012, EDL members attacked and threw firecrackers at a group of people protesting against the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. They were also filmed giving Nazi salutes.
    No wonder We Are Norwich has attracted such a lot of support from people of all political persuasions. We don't want people representing this sort of trouble in Norwich.