Friday, 2 April 2010

Anglicans in Essex clash over Pope Benedict's offer

Traditionalist Anglicans in Essex say they are being shunned by neighbouring parishes after it emerged that they were considering taking up the Pope's offer of joining a "personal ordinariate".

In a letter addressed to the area dean of Waltham Forest and copied to the parish priest of the Anglo-Catholic St Margaret's Leytonstone Fr Robert Page, the clergy of the three adjoining parishes said that they did not want members of the ordinariate to worship in the parish.

The letter to Fr Stephen Saxby, written by Fr Raymond Draper of St John the Baptist, Leytonstone, on behalf of the three parishes said: "If Fr Rob and a group from St Margaret's choose to explore the new Anglican ordinariate within the Roman Catholic Church, we wish them well in this experiment.

"But we do not think it would be realistic to allow a new and rival group under the former parish priest to worship at St Margaret's or to worship in St Margaret's parish. To do this would be to put an impossible burden on the loyalty of Anglicans in St Margaret's church and to place any new incumbent in an intolerable situation."

According to the letter, the priests from the adjoining parishes discussed the future of the area as if Fr Page was no longer the parish priest of St Margaret's Leytonstone. They proposed to cluster the four parishes of St Margaret's Leytonstone, St Andrew's Leytonstone, Holy Trinity Harrow Green and St John's Leytonstone into a group of affirming Anglican churches. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Easter Show bans Jesus

Bible Society NSW has received communication that it was not able to secure a 'Jesus. All About Life' stall at the Sydney Royal Easter Show this year due to it being of a religious nature.

“It’s a curious thing that an event bearing the name “Easter” has disallowed anything to do with the very thing Easter is all about – the death and resurrection of Jesus,” says CEO of Bible Society NSW, Daniel Willis.

Thousands of Easter Eggs, Scripture resources and Youth material meant to be handed out at this year’s Royal Easter Show will now be given away at an alternative location. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Isa savers ‘cheated of billions’ by banks

[Ed: Of course, one answer is the Stocks and Shares ISA, but as they say, the value of your investment can go down as well as up and they are not entirely tax free.]

A tax break created by Gordon Brown to encourage millions of people to save has degenerated into a £3 billion a year rip-off that enriches the banks, according to a damning verdict from the statutory consumer watchdog.

Consumer Focus has made a formal complaint to the Office of Fair Trading alleging that cash Isas pay derisory rates of interest and that banks use unfair obstacles to stop people from switching to better deals. The OFT has 90 days to respond.

“It beggars belief that in 21st century Britain it takes a month to transfer information and funds from one bank to another,” said Mike O’Connor, chief executive of Consumer Focus. “The average Isa saver is getting a poor deal.” Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Isas prove why trust is in such short supply

The banks came in for a good bashing from the three Chancellors on Monday night. And yesterday brought yet more evidence of how richly deserved the public abuse seems.

The Consumer Focus report on cash Isas makes depressing reading. It is very hard to defend the banks against the charge that they shamelessly exploit ignorance and inertia to give millions of their customers a very bad deal. The banks make good use of “bait and switch” tactics with other savings products, enticing customers in with high teaser rates then reducing them once the fish is hooked. With cash Isas the behaviour appears especially egregious. Historically, the rate of tax-free interest offered on cash Isas was higher than on other savings accounts. But that has now changed, with the average cash Isa paying depositors only 0.41 per cent.

For the banks, that represents a very nice turn on the £158 billion sitting in cash Isas. Consumer Focus reckons savers are being shortchanged by up to £3 billion a year. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Pet shop owner fined £1,000 and told to wear an electronic tag... for selling a GOLDFISH to a boy aged 14

Buying a goldfish at a pet shop used to be an innocent childhood pleasure.

But today an elderly pet shop owner told how she was 'entrapped' into selling a goldfish to a 14-year-old schoolboy, then warned she could face jail.

She had breached a law introduced in 2006 which bans selling live fish to anyone under 16.

After a prosecution estimated to have cost taxpayers £20,0000, Joan Higgins, 66, a great-grandmother who has never been in trouble before, has been forced to wear a tag on her ankle like common criminal and given a seven-week curfew.

Her son, Mark, 47 was also handed a fine and ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid work in the community. Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell slams £1,000 fine for street preacher who said homosexuality is a sin

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has defended a Christian street preacher fined £1,000 for telling passers-by homosexuality is a sin.

Born-again Baptist Shawn Holes was taken away from a busy shopping street in a police van and locked up in a cell for the night.

Mr Holes was charged with 'uttering homophobic remarks' in a breach of the peace that prosecutors said was 'aggravated by religious prejudice' and appeared in court the next day.

Last night leading gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said he supported Mr Holes, attacking his fine as 'heavy-handed' and 'totally disproportionate'.

He said: 'The price of freedom of speech is that we sometimes have to put up with opinions that are objectionable and offensive.

'Just as people should have the right to criticise religion, people of faith should have the right to criticise homosexuality. Only incitements to violence should be illegal.' Read more
No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the