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Letter to the Editor: Prayers for the Dead at Remembrance Services

Prayers for the Dead at Remembrance Services   Sir, Remembrance Sunday is an important and poignant landmark in our nation’s annual calendar, and a day to reflect, give thanks and pray for peace. We see church and civic life combine in silence and remembrance, as...

Evangelical Theological College of Asia

Evangelical Theological College of Asia Have you ever wondered if there was a sound reformed theological training institution in Asia?  The Evangelical Theological College of Asia is just such a school.  It is located in Singapore and its faculty are mostly from...

Prudence Dailey’s Commentary: Should Women Be Afraid of Men?

Prudence Dailey's Commentary Should Women be Afraid of Men? Recently, someone I used to work with shared on her Facebook page a link to an article from The Times magazine by the feminist writer Caitlin Moran. The substance of Ms Moran’s piece—rhetorically addressed to...

FIEC Updates Its “Values Statement”

FIEC Updates Its “Values Statement” The Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches recently updated its “Values Statement.”  It is well-worth your time to read.  There are FIEC affiliated congregations in England, Scotland, and Wales.   1. God-honouring and...

Death of LENORA HAMMOND

Lenora Hammond 1960-2021 Mrs Lenora Hammond, wife of Frontline Fellowship founder Dr Peter Hammond, died on 9 November.  She was six days short of her sixty-first birthday.  Frontline Fellowship is headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa. Mrs Hammond was born into a...

Archbishops’ Appointments Secretary to Retire

Archbishops’ Appointments Secretary to Retire “The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have paid tribute to the service of Caroline Boddington, who has announced she will be leaving the National Church Institutions (NCIs) at the end of 2021 after 17 years as the...

Book Review: The Lullingstone Secret

The Lullingstone Secret Jill Masters Wakeman Press, 2021 (ISBN: 9781913133115, 97pp, £5.95) Lullingstone Villa in Kent is a fascinating site to visit whatever one’s awareness of ancient history and is lavishly curated by English Heritage. Since its excavation in the...

Book Review: The Welsh Methodist Society

The Welsh Methodist Society The Early Societies in South-West Wales 1737-1750 Eryn M. White University of Wales Press, 2021 (ISBN: 9781786835796, 350pp, £24.99) In many respects, the church in Britain continues to live off the puttering afterglow of the eighteenth...

Eastern Rite Catholics: What Are They?

Eastern Rite Catholics What Are They? Former Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali’s recent defection to Rome has highlighted earlier efforts of the Roman Catholic Church to bring other ecclesiastical jurisdictions into its orbit.  There are a total of twenty-three which have...

Street Preachers Win Permission to Appeal Over Police Arrests

Street Preachers Win Permission to Appeal Over Police Arrests

Mike Overd, Don Kams, Mike Stockwell, and AJ Clarke, street preachers in Bristol, have won the right to appeal their cases.  Overd’s original case goes back to July 2016.

The four had been preaching in the Bristol City Centre.  Whilst preaching, they covered several topics that some in the crowd of listeners found offensive.  When the crowd became unruly, police arrested the four street preachers.  They were eventually acquitted of all charges but have filed a civil claim.  That claim was dismissed by Judge Ralton last December.

The judge is quoted as saying, “There is the tension between freedom of expression on the one hand and harassment, alarm, and distress caused by the expression.” Summarising by saying he had sympathy with both the street preachers and the police but ruled that the officers had not acted unlawfully when they arrested and detained the preachers.

The four appealed the dismissal before the High Court and Mr Justice Henshaw granted permission to appeal.  In his ruling, he stated, “Seems to me that the Claimants have a real prospect of success on their contention that the very limited second-hand information which the arresting officers had about the actual contents of the Claimants’ speeches—did not provide grounds for reasonable suspicion that the Claimants were committing or had committed a racially or religiously aggravated public order offence.”

He continued, “rather than this being a case of the Claimants’ speech being so provocative that members of the crowd might ‘without behaving wholly unreasonably’ be moved to violence (Redmond-Bate), the main problem lay with a number of audience members already known to be dangerous who were themselves liable to instigate unlawful violence.”

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