Church leader condemns far-right opposition to Shotton Islam centre

A church leader has criticised the British National Party’s leafleting campaign against the proposed Shotton Islamic centre.

St Ethelwold’s Church was pictured in the leaflet co-ordinated by BNP community councillor John Walker without authorisation. And vicar Rev Steven Green wants to make it clear the church does not support the far-right organisation’s opposition to the controversial plans.

Within the leaflet Cllr Walker said: “With declining church attendances and the local clergy falling over themselves to welcome other religions into the area, what future does Christianity have in Deeside?”

Mr Green said: “I would suggest the author of this letter should be better informed, as all the churches on Deeside work well together and are involved in many projects such as Fairtrade, community development and many other initiatives.

“The Christian communities are faithful and confident in their own faith, but that faith reflecting the love of Jesus seeks to welcome and offer hospitality. Church life on Deeside is in good heart, supported by loyal, faithful and generous Christians who stand for peace and tolerance on our streets and respect for all people of peace and goodwill.”

Mr Green also criticised the English Defence League’s town centre protest on Saturday. “I find it difficult to believe such a demonstration has anything to do with the people of Deeside,” he said. “Deeside people are warm, generous and tolerant people who have witnessed and adapted to many changes over the last 30 years.”

Flintshire Chronicle, 27 January 2011