15 December 2017

Grace & truth


Postal workers in Jersey refused to deliver audio recordings of St Mark’s Gospel after deeming it “offensive material.”

Several churches clubbed together to pay for 45,000 CDs to be produced to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.

A copy of the recording was due to be delivered to every household on the Channel Island of Jersey.

But church leaders were left reeling after Jersey Post claimed that the CDs could offend people and refused to deliver them.

Revd Hunter of St Helier Methodist Centre said, “Initially Jersey Post seemed quite positive about helping us deliver the CDs. But then somebody from their marketing department phoned to say they would be unable to deliver them on the grounds that they could be deemed offensive. They said there were guidelines about mass material that is sent out across the island and that religious recordings could offend people.”

However Kevin Keen, the Chief Executive of Jersey Post, has since admitted they got it wrong.

Mr Keen said, “This decision was made on the basis of our terms and conditions which states that we have the right to refuse to distribute something that falls under the category of ‘promotional material which could cause offence.’ Clearly this was interpreted in the wrong way. I have spoken to the person involved and have written to all of my colleagues asking that they come to me if there is any doubt in their mind in the future.”

The Mark’s Gospel recordings are now being delivered by volunteers.


Churchgoers in Woking, Surrey, could be forced to pay car parking charges to attend church on Sundays, following an intervention by a secularist pressure group.

Currently worshippers at three churches in Woking town centre are able to park free of charge at two public car parks on Sundays.

The National Secular Society has called for Woking Borough Council to end the concession, claiming that it,”is almost certainly illegal under equality legislation.”

Ray Morgan, Chief Executive of Woking Borough Council said, “They have made a challenge and say they think it is illegal, so we have sought formal legal advice on that matter.”

Without the scheme attendees at Coign Church, Christ Church and Trinity Methodist Church would have faced parking charges of more than £55,000 over the past two and a half years.

Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society said, “If Woking’s exemptions were to be replicated throughout the country, the subsidy would amount to tens of millions of pounds. We have advised the council that under the Equality Act these arrangements almost certainly amount to illegal discrimination. We await their response with interest.”

The National Secular Society is currently suing Bideford Town Council in Devon for saying prayers at the start of its council meetings.


Hundreds of viewers have complained to the BBC about explicit homosexual sex on one of its flagship programmes.

More than 500 viewers complained to the broadcaster about scenes in an August episode of the popular sci-fi show Torchwood, branding the scenes as “pointless” and irrelevant.

Viewers also expressed their opinions online. One viewer said, “This show is meant to be a sci-fi show. I had to turn it off as my grandson, an avid sci-fi fan, was in the room.”

Another viewer said, “The homosexual content is totally out of proportion and so we have decided not to watch any more.”

David Turtle, a spokesman for Mediawatch UK said, “The BBC will say the programme is being shown after the 9pm watershed. But it doesn’t alter the fact that the programme is watched by a lot of young people and is easily accessible on iPlayer at any time of the day.”

The BBC has previously defended the content of the series saying, “We felt the content was justified in terms of the context and character and would be within the expectations of regular viewers. We aim to depict relationships, whether heterosexual or homosexual, in an honest and realistic way. These scenes are not meant to cause offence.”

Earlier this year the BBC’s own research found that the Corporation is widely regarded as displaying an anti-Christian attitude in its programming.