A Christian group claim they were refused entry to carry out a peaceful protest at York Minster – as the same time as climate activists were allowed to enter the historic building with placards in hand.
According to a GB News probe, Where’s Welby? say they were informed they had been banned from attending public worship while conducting a protest to highlight what the group say is the Archbishop of Canterbury’s absence from providing a moral lead on issues including abortion.
Members of the group in attendance have described their shock at being banned by the York Minster police, a unique cathedral constabulary responsible for the security of York Minster and its various precincts.
Its main role is to give security, and make sure that the dignity of the Minster is upheld and it is separate to the North Yorkshire Police constabulary which is responsible for the wider area.
Where’s Welby group supporter Revd Matthew Firth pointed out:
“Climate activists who were protesting next to the Where’s Welby group were welcomed into the Minster for public worship, even though they have disrupted public worship before.”
In response a York Minster spokesperson said: “Several groups – including Where’s Welby – protested peacefully outside York Minster [at the weekend] at the General Synod Service.
“York Minster would not ban individuals or groups from any service. Groups or individuals would only be asked to leave if they behave in a way that puts the safety of worshippers inside the building at risk. No groups or individuals were asked to leave any services at York Minster yesterday.”
The Where’s Welby supporters were also alarmed at the conduct of the Bishop of Bristol and the Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe.
Both of whom the group say not only attempted to interfere with their peaceful protest but played a pivotal role in Where’s Welby campaigners being banned from attending a public worship.
In reply to the allegations raised, a spokesperson for the Bishop of Bristol said: “Reports that entry was denied to the protest group ‘Where’s Welby’ on advice from the Bishop of Bristol are simply inaccurate.
“Bishop Vivienne Faull did speak to protestors outside of York Minster on Sunday morning, to hear their concerns; but she made no attempt to deny entry to any group, nor did she advise the local constabulary to do so.”
A spokesperson for the Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe said: “Bishop Robert Innes attended a service at York Minster on Sunday morning. On the way in he spoke briefly with a couple of people who were part of the Where’s Welby protest.
“He then went straight into York Minster. He had nothing to do with anyone’s attendance at the service.”
Where’s Welby describe themselves as “a group of Christians fighting for words and action from the Archbishop of Canterbury and Church of England against the abortion genocide.”
Source: GB News