Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Churchwarden resigns over BNP membership

A BNP member has resigned as a churchwarden after his political views were deemed to be "incompatible" with Christianity.

David North said he was forced to quit his post at St Thomas of Canterbury Church, in Frisby on the Wreake, near Melton, because of his openly-held support for the BNP. The Diocese of Leicester said it simply "pointed out" his views were incompatible with those of the church.

Mr North, of Frisby, said: "After 60 years service to my church at Frisby, I feel very let down to be asked to resign as churchwarden of some 15 years in two stints, having done nothing illegal whatsoever, only to be asked to resign because I'm a member of the BNP. As far as I can tell, I have done nothing wrong. To be asked to resign reasonably forcefully after 60 years' service – it hurts."

Mr North, who has spent the past 15 years serving as a warden, stepped down three weeks ago.

A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Leicester said: "It was pointed out to Mr North that membership of the BNP is incompatible with being a practising Christian. This is the Bishop's complete stance on it. We received a letter from Mr North telling us he had resigned. We did not ask him to but he had been under a lot of pressure. The pastor is not able to kick out a churchwarden, but it can be pointed out that he must make a choice between the BNP and the Church. Members of the congregation can be a member of the BNP but he held an office in the church and was representing us both legally and professionally." Read more
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