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Some of the images on this page come from the Home Page of the site - recommended, scrolling down the Home Page. This will show that the site is about much more than Christian beliefs and practices.



Church decline

'Reputation management' is taken seriously by the Churches - for a variety of reasons, such as the wish to maintain the flow of donations, but reversing the decline of reputations can be far from easy - impossible.


Reversing declines in Church attendances likewise. From the page




The Church of England is facing a generational catastrophe with only 2% of young adults identifying with it, while seven out of 10 under-24s say they have no religion, research reveals.


C of E affiliation is at a record low among all age groups, and has halved since 2002, according to the British Social Attitudes survey. Far fewer actually attend church services on a regular basis.


Meanwhile, the trend towards a secular society has increased over recent years. The BSA survey found that 52% of people had no religion in 2017 compared with 41% in 2002. However, the proportion last year was slightly down on 2016, when 53% said they had no religious affiliation.


The demographic breakdown in the new data is particularly unwelcome news for the church. Younger people are significantly less likely to identify with the C of E than older age groups, and evidence suggests that people rarely join organised religion in later life. The trend indicates that affiliation with the C of E could become negligible with successive generations.


People over the age of 65 are most likely to say they belong to the C of E. But at 30% it is still a minority, and the proportion has fallen from 52% in 2002. This older demographic also saw the biggest increase in those saying they had no religion, up from 18% in 2002 to 34% last year.


The proportion of people of all ages identifying with the C of E has fallen from 31% in 2002 to 14% last year. The sharpest decline was among 45- to 54-year-olds, from 35% to 11%.


Overall, 8% of people identify with the Roman Catholic church, 10% with other Christian denominations and 8% with non-Christian faiths.


[Only the number of those with no religious belief have risen, new figures show]

Researchers found a significant gap between people identifying with a church and those attending church services. Of those who say they belong to the C of E, only one in five attends church at least once a month, apart from weddings and funerals. Among Roman Catholic adherents, two in five attend church at least once a month.



In Scotland an even higher proportion of people – 56% – say they have no religion and 18% say they belong to the Church of Scotland, although only a quarter of those attend church at least once a month.


Roger Harding of the National Centre for Social Research, which conducts the BSA survey, said the figures showed “an unrelenting decline in Church of England and Church of Scotland numbers. This is especially true for young people where less than one in 20 now belong to their established church. While the figures are starkest among younger people, in every age group the biggest single group are those identifying with no religion.



Extract from the page About this site


Comment on my views, criticize my views 


This space is a very new addition to the site. Christians who disagree with the argument and evidence I give in my criticisms of Christianity are

very welcome to have their counter-arguments published in this space - preferably with evidence. I make the same offer to anybody who disagrees with my views on any of the issues I discuss on this site.


My South Yorkshire Counter-Evangelism project is the work of one person only, someone with wide-ranging interests and activities. Counter-evangelism is just one of these. There are  many more demands on my time and my financial resources are negligible.


Compare and contrast the Christian Churches in South Yorkshire and beyond.  These have an army of full-time workers - deacons, archdeacons, priests, pastors, preachers, street pastors, street preachers, bishops, archbishops, chaplains, Church administrators, diocesan bureaucrats, trustees, canons, canon precentors, minor canons, deans, academic theologians, academic generalists and specialists in so many fields - christology, ecclesiology, patrology, pneumatology, harmatology, eschatology,  Church history -  and many more, including part-timers such as lay readers, organizations with vast financial resources, with a steady influx of  substantial donations and smaller donations which add to the accumulated wealth of the Churches. (I see the need to reduce the scale of donations to the churches, to point out to potential donors that there are so many causes which could receive their money.)



If, with all these advantages, the Churches of South Yorkshire and beyond can't come up with effective argument and evidence to oppose the argument and evidence of a single part-time worker in the field - me - then there's something badly wrong. I make the case that there is something badly wrong with the Christian Churches - more exactly, there are many things which are badly wrong. These bloated organizations have financial muscle but I their capacity to respond to reasoned argument is so poor as to be non-existent. If the will to respond and the ability to respond is there, then do what you can. It may not be much, but it's better to make some attempt at least, if you value your reputation.


Christians - if you disagree with my views, you can always let me have your views. I'll be glad to publish them in this section without any censorship or moderation. If honest, open debate isn't to your taste, then obviously you need not use this opportunity. Alternative venues for pulbication are readily available to you. You can always publish your counter-criticisms on Church Websites or in Church letters, but perhaps you won't be inclined to do that. If you do, I'd be grateful if you could let me know.


As an alternative, you are welcome to email me with your criticisms. My policy on emails sent to me is made clear in various places on this site. All emails to me won't be disclosed, except with the permission of the sender. They will only reach the public domain if the sender gives me permission to publish.


Publication - views, arguments, evidence received which comment on and criticize my views


[Followed by a space where comments / criticism will be published]


On other pages of the site, the pages listed below, with links: Pages with material on my complaint against Alan Billings, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner and against a Sergeant of South Yorkshire Police, making clear the many linkages with Christian belief, followed by pages with general material on Christian belief, the Churches and linked issues. In all these pages I provide thorough documentation, detailed evidence and argument rather than the 'scraps and fragments' on this page, although this page does include some extended documentation, evidence and argument.


On this page, the nuances and qualifications which are included in the documentation of other pages are not possible. If any reader finds any of the material unfair or would like to make other criticisms, then I would be happy to receive the critical material and to modify or even delete some of the material if I think that a good case has been made for doing that - but I never accede to demands to remove material. I am willing to publish criticism of me and any aspect of work on this site on the page About this site.


In the column to the right: snippets on the complaint.
In this column: general snippets on assorted issues.


Complaints against Alan Billings and South Yorkshire Police


1a. Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner: Complaint
1b. Content of 1a, one column
1c. Billingsgate
1d. Police / Ethics Panels
1e. S. Yorks Police: IOPC
1f. Police, PCC, Panels
1g. Dr Billings: 'Hate Crime'
1h. Police / school capability
1i. Complaints v. SYP, PCC
1j. 'Treating people properly'
1k. Phase 2: Erika Redfearn
South Yorkshire Sound

General material

2. Christian religion: criticism
3. Arise! Church Guide
4. Abuse and the Churches
5. Street Pastors Guide
6. Anti-woke supporters of Christian belief
7.Churches, donations, work




I've made a complaint against Sergeant Kirkham of South Yorkshire Police. A review of the comlaint is in progress. It's being undertaken by the Office of the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Alan Billings.  A complaint against Alan Billings himself is in progress, although 'progress' isn't the right word to describe the proceedings in both cases, subject to stalling at every turn. I've documented the issues - astonishing, grotesque, disturbing, as I see it - the action and the lack of action in the pages listed above, with links, 1a to 1k. The other items in the list give background material  relevant to this very complex case, if it can be called a single case. It  raises very wide-ranging issues. The material in the pages listed above is thorough and detailed, the material in the column to the right gives an outline, no more than an outline, of some of the issues.


South Yorkshire Counter - Evangelism is part of the project



Assorted snippets

Above, The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, Coat of Arms and Motto.

Above, Billingsgate Fish Market

Painting, 'Der Heilige Antonius,' St Anthony preaching to the fish. The sermon of St Anthony to the fish is discussed below, after the images of various fish.



Above, photograph. Representation of Noah's Ark at 'Ark Encounter,' a Christian pseudoscientific creationist theme park in Kentucky, USA.


Above, painting, The Flood of Noah and Companions (c. 1911) by Leon Comerre, Musee d' Arts de Nantes.


Below, some  of the fish created in an amazingly short time by God and carried in Noah's Ark, according to fundamentalist Christians:














Shown above: 1. Humpback anglerfish 2. Gigantactis 3. barreleye 4.telescopefish 5. stoplight loosejaw 6. daggertooth 7. flabby whalefish 8. Sloane's viperfish 9. black swallower 10, 11, 12. Great White Shark


The miracle of Saint Anthony of Padua


From the Roman Catholic site devoted to the Saint:





The story goes that one day Anthony went to Rimini where there were a lot of heretics. He started to preach, but they did not want to listen to him, and they even mocked him. In a dramatic gesture, Anthony went to the seashore, saying, “Because you show yourself unworthy of God’s word, behold, I turn to the fishes so that your unbelief may be shown up more clearly”. As he spoke of God’s care for those creatures that live in the waters, a shoal of fish swam near to the bank, partly thrusting themselves out of the water and appearing to listen carefully. At the end of his sermon, the Saint blessed them and they swam away. In the meantime, so deep was the impression made upon the onlookers that many hurried back to the city imploring their friends to come and see the miracle, while others burst into tears asking forgiveness. Soon after a great multitude gathered around the Saint, who exhorted them to turn back to God. So through this sermon, the city of Rimini was purged of heresy.

Comment: These 'heretics' were very lucky. They weren't burned alive for their heresy.


The words of the hymn,


All things bright and beautiful All creatures great and small All things wise and wonderful 'Twas God that made them all

He gave us eyes to see them And lips that we might tell How great is the Almighty Who has made all things well

God's attention to detail is certainly evident in the design of that killing machine, the Great White Shark, created by God, allegedly, during the busy period described in Genesis.


The Great White Shark is one of the shark species responsible for fatal, unprovoked attacks on humans. When the shark bites, it shakes its head side-to-side, helping the teeth saw off large chunks of flesh.


Still, the teeth of the Great White Shark seem like beginner's work compared with the oblique and serrated teeth of the Tiger Shark, a far more advanced set of equipment, it would seem, for sawing off lumps of flesh.


For 'earlier natural historians, there was little problem finding room for all known animal species in the Ark. Less than a century later, discoveries of new species made it increasingly difficult to justify a literal interpretation for the Ark story. By the middle of the 18th century only a few natural historians accepted a literal interpretation of the narrative.'


Genesis 6:

And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make [g]rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. 15And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred [h]cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. 18But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. 


The view, held by fundamentalists but not just fundamentalists, that the Bible offers clear guides to what a Christian should believe and how a Christian should behave, is naive and false. Christian doctrines are based on texts that are so often interpretative minefields. Single words, for example  ἀρσενοκοῖται (used in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10) have been interpreted in contradictory ways.


If a Christian has feelings of rapture, joy, awe, ardent appreciation, the feelings aren't an infallible validation of religious beliefs, they aren't an infallible validation of  the content of the Bible. A Roman Catholic has these feelings when praying to the Virgin Mary or a Saint. An atheist - and a protestant, or most protestants - will be sceptical.  These images are propagandist, not inspirational, and the first image here, of a man sailing on a Bible-boat, is ludicrous:



This image is intended to give the believer the  idea that chains can be easily broken - by faith. Metal chains need a bolt cutter or another tool to cut them and can't be snapped just like that. Metaphorical chains may be impossible to break or very difficult to break.


Did God cause the flood which wiped out humanity and all the animals of the world, apart from the lucky few saved in Noah's Ark? Is the Biblical account to be trusted? Are the Biblical events of so many events to be trusted? Does God still cause floods, such as the devastating floods which have occurred in so many parts of the world. If does, is it to punish sin? Or are floods to be explained in terms of atmospheric physics and other branches of science.


These images may appeal to people in the grip of illusion but they amount to gross falsification, surely:





Above, painting by James Tissot  showing the fall of the Tower of Siloam - innocent people about to be crushed by falling masonry. The contrast between modern, secular views of building construction and the view of Jesus and so many of his followers, past and present, which put the emphasis upon sin and repentance. This section followed by comments on the collapse of buildings during earthquakes, the crushing of innocent people by falling masonry and the contrast between modern views of earthquakes and orthodox Christian views, which put the emphasis upon sin and repentance.

Modern structural engineering, modern building codes, are intended to prevent collapse of buildings.   The view of Jesus, as reported in Luk 13: 1- 5. (Translation: New International Version.)

1.Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” 



Images above, the Turkey-Syria earthquake of 2023. From  top left, a Turkish flag flown at half-mast as a sign of mourning for the victims of the earthquake; a man sitting on a pavement in front of collapsed buildings; people surveying the damage after the earthquake; a collapsed police station; displaced earthquake victims take shelter at an exhibition centre.



Above, search and rescue, Ankara, Turkey. K9 Dog Unit.



Above, the rational, scientific approach - Seismogram record of the Turkey-Syria earthquake



Above, the rational, scientific approach - geological map showing the origin of the earthquake, as explained by plate tectonics. Wikipedia: 'The location of the earthquake places it within the vicinity of a triple junction between the Anatolian, Arabian and African plates.'


If the account in Genesis is to be believed, God created the world, including the geology of this area - an area in which, as in other seismically active regions, buildings are in danger of collapse and men, women and children are in danger of being crushed. How can the dangers the face, the sufferings they endure, be due to sin? Surely, this is nothing to do with sin?


This would be to underestimate the cruelty of orthodox Christian beliefs. These orthodox Christian beliefs are supported by the 'evidence' of the Bible, but are based on gross misrepresentations of evidence which owes nothing to dogmatic belief.


Extract from the article 'Why did God allow the earthquake?'  'The Trumpet' (February 6, 2023).




The author does mention, very, very briefly, some scientific findings which belong to a completely different world from his delusionary world:

' ... at 4:15 this morning, local time, some layers of rock shifted.'


This is followed by 'argument' and 'evidence' from the Bible:


 The Bible states that the devil is real. Not only that, but he has also deceived the whole world. And not only that, but he is the god of this world.


This understanding comes straight from the Bible! (see 2 Corinthians 4:4).


Does the world around you begin to make a little more sense when you realize that the god of this world is actually the devil?


The Bible describes the age we live in as “this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4). That is exactly what it is, and this evil world has an evil god.

Ezekiel 28 describes a magnificent archangel who was “full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty” (verse 12). Isaiah 14 tells us God gave this angel authority to rule the Earth. But then this angel turned to evil, and tried to seize God’s throne. This angel’s name was Lucifer. After he rebelled, God changed his name to Satan. And notice: God cast him back down to Earth (Ezekiel 28:16; Revelation 12:9, 12).


Satan hates human beings. But God loves them, and if He has the power to cast down Satan and confine him to Earth, He has the power to protect people from disasters.


Why is God allowing these disasters? He is teaching us something.


The sadness, the misery, the tragedy that surrounds us is not something to try ever more desperately to ignore. It’s something we must face up to—and learn from.


[Next, the author mentions the collapse of the Tower of Siloam]


Jesus Christ faced these facts. In His day, a building collapsed, tragically crushing 18 people. He said, “[T]hink ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:4-5).


Jesus Christ Himself directly discussed the exact kind of aftermath that millions of Turks and Syrians are sifting through right now. He acknowledged that some human beings suffer and die in seemingly senseless tragedies, and the reason—put forward by some—that they were more sinful than those who continue to live is not true.


But if these victims did not commit greater sins to deserve greater punishment, then why are they suffering?

We have all been influenced by “the god of this world” who “deceives the whole world.” Romans 3:23 says that all human beings are guilty of sin. Ecclesiastes 9:11 says that time and chance happen to everyone. Jesus said that, one way or another, we will “all likewise perish”—unless we repent!

Repenting means giving up your entire way of life—and submitting to God’s way of life. It means turning to the true God and allowing Him to rule you.

Jesus showed that the disasters people are suffering are warnings to those who believe in God. One way or another, your brief existence will end—unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. This is what these images from Turkey are teaching us, if we will recognize the lesson. The most fundamental lesson a human being can learn is to face the truth of his own helplessness apart from God.

But what about those who died? You might think they can’t learn any lessons from their own deaths. But what does the Bible say?

Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live.
—Ezekiel 37:5

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God ….
—Revelation 20:12

The plain truth of the Bible is that all those who have died will live again! They will be resurrected to physical life. At that time, the god of this world will no longer be Satan: It will be Jesus Christ!

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain ….
—Revelation 21:4

To summarize: Satan is the god of this world. God allows him to inflict suffering and death—to teach a valuable, eternal lesson to those who will repent.

In the future, God will replace Satan as ruler over the world, He will resurrect those who have died, and He will give them the opportunity to repent and share a relationship with Him. Why does God allow suffering? This is God’s answer—from the Bible.


In my pages on Christianity, again and again I give examples of people and groups of people who, according to orthodox Christian belief are damned, who will not enjoy eternal life in communion with Jesus. As a reminder, these include all people in South Yorkshire who have never accepted Jesus Christ as personal 'Lord and Saviour.' It isn't only the people at Rock Christian Centre and all the other centres of evangelism who will be spared this fate and who go on to eternal communion with Jesus but Christians guilty of gross abuse. According to this view, it isn't 'good works' which give salvation and hideous acts don't prevent salvation.


My page Abuse, safeguarding, faith: the Churches and their failures includes this:


After five years of sadistic beatings in a garden shed by one of the UK’s most prominent barristers, and with a “special beating” to mark his 21st birthday imminent, Andy Morse tried to take his own life.


The student had endured thousands of lashes on his naked buttocks administered in the name of Jesus by John Smyth QC. He could no longer endure the pain, terror and humiliation.

Fortunately, his housemates broke down the bathroom door and called an ambulance. But Morse was not Smyth’s only victim. There are more than 100 known survivors, and perhaps many others: public schoolboys who took part in a network of military-style Christian holiday camps in the 1970s and 80s.


A new book, Bleeding for Jesus, tells the story of Smyth, the moral crusader who fought legal battles for “Christian values” in Britain’s courts while allegedly mercilessly abusing young men at his Hampshire home, and the Iwerne Trust, which organised the “Bash camps” that were his hunting ground and which turned a blind eye to his activities.


My page Counter-evangelism includes this image of Ernst Biberstein, with information


Above, Ernst Biberstein, who studied theology from 1919 to 1921. He became a Protestant pastor in 1924. During the war, he was the commanding officer of Einsatzkommando 6, which executed between 2000 and 3000 people. The Einsatzkommandos were a sub-group of the Einsatzgruppen, mobile killing squads who exterminated Jews and others in the territories captured by the German forces as they advanced Eastwards. After the war, he was tried and sentenced to death but the sentence was commuted. He was released in 1958 and returned to the clergy.


There seems every reason to believe that he was a committed Christian and qualified for salvation according to the orthodox Christian view. There's every reason to believe that virtually all the people massacred by his execution squads and the other Einsatzgruppen were not qualified for salvation according to the orthodox Christian view, every reason to believe that virtually all the people killed in the Nazi gas chambers were unqualified for salvation. There may well have been some Christian converts amongst them, but the victims were overwhelmingly Jews, without a belief in Christ as Lord and Saviour.


The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 was one of the most deadly earthquakes in recorded history. It was the first earthquake to be studied in anything like a scientific way. It marked the birth of seismology and was associated with important developments in earthquake engineering. It was widely discussed by writers and thinkers of the European Enlightenment and is associated with major developments in theodicy. Voltaire made use of the earthquake in 'Candide', which attacks the view that all is for the best  in this, 'the best of all possible worlds,' and that this world is under the control of a benevolent God.




One of the areas devastated by the Lisbon earthquake was the Pombaline Lower Town. Buildings in the Pombaline area are amongst the first buildings in Europe to be constructed using designs which include seismic protection. Small wooden models were built for testing and simulation of earthquakes was carried out by having troops marching around the models: a very interesting application of human ingenuity to lessen the devastating effects of earthquakes. Earthquakes are


Below, model of the protective structure called 'gaiola pombalina,' (Pombaline Cage.)




Extracts from the article by Michael McCullough (September 21, 2020)



 “The eighteenth century used the word Lisbon much as we use the word Auschwitz today,” wrote the philosopher Susan Neiman. For decades, people throughout Europe and the New World walked around with the “Lisbon Question” on their lips: If horrors like Lisbon can happen, what kind of world are we living in? And how should we live in it? Lisbon drastically altered how nineteenth-century people thought about their relationship to nature, and about how to brace themselves against nature’s enormity and caprice. It also revolutionized how they thought about their ethical obligations to suffering people in distant lands. We are the heirs of this conceptual revolution, which the political scientist Michael Barnett has named the “Humanitarian Big Bang.”




Lisbon also marks a turning point in how we explain natural disasters. Before Lisbon, large natural disasters were customarily viewed as God’s rebukes for humanity’s hubris and sin. Following the Great Fire of London, for instance, which in 1666 laid waste to most of the old city of London, preachers of every denomination exhorted Londoners  to repent for the many varieties of iniquity that had provoked God into torching the city. After Lisbon, however, people increasingly came to see natural disasters as the outcomes of long chains of interaction between matter and energy—that is, as purely physical events that were uninterested in human morality and indifferent to human welfare. The transition from supernatural explanations to naturalistic ones was not easy to make because it required people to turn their backs on strong intuitions and firmly held religious convictions.


I'd make the comment that Alan Billings places great reliance on his 'strong intuitions' and 'firmly held religious convictions.' I take the view that this reliance has led him to make many mistakes, including serious mistakes.



Above, creationism: display at the Creation Museum near Covington, Kentucky, USA. The display makes the claim that 'God's perfect creation' (the display overlooks any design faults such as earthquakes) began in 4004 BC. This is the 'Ussher chronology,' formulated in the 17th century by the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. Modern creationists follow Archbishop Ussher in believing that the universe was created by God as  described in the first two chapters of the book of Genesis. Creationists would deny that this is simply a matter of belief. They would maintain that there are 'proofs' that the world - the universe as a whole - was created by God and that the universe was created a few millennia ago. To them, the proofs are Biblical proofs based on Biblical evidence - proofs and evidence which are supposedly certain, whilst the views of 'Man' are far less certain. The findings of science are far less certain, far more prone to error, than the evidence of Genesis.



Above, a Creationist view: God creating the world, supposedly. Here, it seems to be 'God the Son' who is doing the creating, not 'God the Father.'

Above, comment on God and earthquakes. Now, brief comment on other 'Acts of God,' storms and shipwrecks.


In The Great Storm of 26 November, 1703, over 1,000 seamen died on the Goodwin Sands, 700 ships were blown together in the Pool of London, huge waves on the River Thames, nearly 2 metres higher than ever recorded in London destroyed more than 5,000 homes along the river, about 400 windmills were destroyed, there was extensive flooding in the West Country, a ship was driven 24 km inland, another was blown by the winds a distance of 320 km, from Cornwall to the Isle of Wight. Between 8,000 and 15,000 people died in all. The first Eddystone Lighthouse was destroyed later, on 8 December, killing six occupants, including its builder, Henry Winstanley.


Below, destruction of the first Eddystone lighthouse, completed in 1699 and the first ocean lighthouse in the world.



Below, view of the fourth Eddystone lighthouse, with the remains of the third lighthouse visible in the background. The third lighthouse is very important for its influence on lighthouse design and the use of concrete in building. The Eddystone lighthouses were built on the dangerous Eddystone rocks. These rocks are submerged at high spring tides and very dangerous.


These and other lighthouses are miracles of human ingenuity, erected only by surmounting enormous difficulties, saving lives. 'Miracles' here has absolutely no theological content. The 'miracles' of the Bible are in a different category completely, belonging to a world of illusion, surely.







by Veronica della Dora.


While rowdy, rock-strewn cliffs and hidden reefs presented an obvious hazard to sailors, the soft sandbanks of shallow seas and estuaries were an equally sinister threat. Of the Goodwin Sands Downs, for example, the English antiquarian and lighthouse historian William Hardy wrote: ‘No more treacherous shoal exists than that ever-shifting mass, that greedy monster that lies beneath the surface of the water, and grasps in the clasp of death every luckless vessel driven within its reach.’ So, from the 17th century onwards, light vessels were employed on bed estuaries and muddy shoals, where erecting a lighthouse was impossible, especially in the northern seas. Lightboats were anchored on the spot and signalled the hazard. Crews stood for weeks at the mercy of the elements, their vessels uncomfortably pitching and rolling


To explain the storm and its destructive effects, the science of meteorology was unavailable at this time, in anything like a developed form. The Church of England declared that the storm was God's vengeance for the sins of the nation. A day of fasting was declared on 19 January, 1704 in the belief that it was sin, not an extratropical cyclone, which had caused the devastation.


The superstitious belief that God could prevent storms or calm storms demanded that people should repent of their sins and fall upon the mercy of God. The belief was reinforced by 'Biblical proof,'  such as the 'miracle' of Jesus calming the storm on the sea of Galilee. Below, the depiction by Rembrandt (1632).



The 'miracle' of 'Calming the storm' is found in the Synoptic gospels, Matthew 8:23–27Mark 4:35–41 and Luke 8:22–25. From the account in Mark:


He then rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?" And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?


Supplementary, 'Jesus Allegedly Walking on Water'



Above, 'Christ walking on the sea,' by Amédée Varint


Extracts from the Wikipedia entry:


Catholic scholar John P. Meier believes that the miraculous walk on water is a purely theological narrative, without historical foundation.


Some scholars have held the view that while this event took place, it was not miraculous: Albert Schweitzer, for example, suggested that the disciples saw Jesus walking on the shore, but were confused by high wind and darkness; some scholars who accept this "misperception thesis" argue that Mark originally wrote that Jesus walked on the seashore rather than on the sea, and that John had a more accurate version.


Others have held that the entire episode is a "pious legend" (B.H. Branscomb, 1937), based perhaps on some lost incident; perhaps Jesus waded through the surf (Vincent Taylor, 1957), or perhaps he walked on a sand bar (Sherman Johnson, 1972, J.D.M. Derrett, 1981).


Others look for an origin in the mythic world of the Old Testament itself (Christ's victory over the waters paralleling Yahweh's defeat of the primeval Sea, representing Chaos), or within the New Testament, as an originally simple story later embellished with Hellenistic and Old Testament details. In the Hebrew Bible, God gives power over the sea, e.g. to Moses (Ex 14:21–29) or to Elijah (2 kg 2:8).


More on the Bible and the Sea: Liam Brennan (of STC, Sheffield) preaches to the converted and / or people he'd like to convert.  

The Online Church of STC, 11 April, 2021



Screen-shots of some of the Biblical text he uses:



I don't devote much space to the text or his comments on the text, which he obviously accepts as the word of God, or the 'miracle' which he obvously accepts as a historical event, or his understanding of science and natural phenomena, or such obvious questions as this: if God intervened in this case, according to Liam Brennan, why didn't he intervene at any time during the First World War or the Second World War or other wars? In many, perhaps most wars, the people who fought, mainly young, had no choice about going to war. They were compelled and if they refused, they would be executed or severely punished. It can't be in the least likely that the Egyptian army was made up of willing volunteers. These were very likely men who had no choice. The divine act which supposedly drowned them, all of them, was abhorrent.


Liam Brennan is one of the Church Leaders at STC, in charge of 'STC Youth.'

From a report in 'The Guardian,'


'The Church of England is facing a generational catastrophe with only 2% of young adults identifying with it, while seven out of 10 under-24s say they have no religion, research reveals.

'C of E affiliation is at a record low among all age groups, and has halved since 2002, according to the British Social Attitudes survey. Far fewer actually attend church services on a regular basis.


The demographic breakdown in the new data is particularly unwelcome news for the church. Younger people are significantly less likely to identify with the C of E than older age groups, and evidence suggests that people rarely join organised religion in later life. The trend indicates that affiliation with the C of E could become negligible with successive generations.'

Many, many members of Churches which participate in 'Arise' would look at the figures and conclude that increasing numbers of people in this country are destined for eternal separation from God.'


Are young people likely to return to the Churches in large numbers to listen to people like Liam Brennan explaining a ridiculous 'miracle?'  Do they want to hear about the exploits of Moses? Do these things have the least relevance to their lives?




ΙΧΘΥΣ, the Greek word for 'fish.' The letters of the word are the first letters of these words:


Greek for
'Jesus Christ, God's Son, Saviour'.


Billingsgate: the celebrated London Fish Market.


Dr Alan Billings: the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner. No connection between Alan Billings and fish, so far as I know, but Alan Billings would approve of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers' Motto, 'All worship be to God only.'


Ichtheology: new branch of theology, devised by me. The study of the linkages between theology and ichthyology, the study of fish.


'fishy:' established meaning, doubtful, suspicious, questionable. Newer meaning, not just doubtful, suspicious, questionable but bizarre, deluded, shocking, as in 'The theology of Calvin (or Luther or 'St' paul or Cardinal Newman) is fishy, to say the least.'


Contrasting material, before returning to the Mosaic Mess.


Dr Billings on the scandalous and calamitous shortcomings of Custody Suites



Dr Billings writes,

'But it is certainly not a good idea to have offenders locked up in custody cells 24 hours a day where there is little or no capacity for association, education or recreation.

'They also have to be fed – and with something a little more substantial than the simple meals – pizzas, for example – kept in a custody suite.'


So, educational facilities for Custody Suite Guests. But the preferences and existing interests of guests will be very varied. How to provide tutors to cater for such a wide range of interests? Would  the educational opportunities to be offered involve any practical work? Providing the necessary facilities could pose problems. There would need to be a workshop, a well-equipped kitchen if cooking skills are to be offered. Would there be educational opportunities outsid? If so, a kitchen garden might well be needed. The provision of recreational facilities would pose further problems. At the least, there would have to be a gymnasium with a range of equipment to satisfy the Custody Suite Guests. As for a wider variety of foodstuffs, would it be possible to provide, to give just one example, asparagus in season? Probably not. It has to be said that in custody facilities in Italy, pizza, which appears not to appeal to Dr Billings, would be appreciated very much. There are many good cookery books on Italian cuisine. Perhaps Dr Billings could consult some of them, the sections on pizza.


Dr Billings seems to have overlooked one very important contribution to the welfare of inmates. Although I have a very low opinion of the Bible, his view will obviously be very different. Surely the Gideons provide Bibles for the custody suites, or the New Testament at least?

From my page Arrest:


One  thing about the comforts of the  hotel rooms, spiritual comforts in this case. The group known as the 'Gideons' provided Bibles in various places. In this hotel, every room had a Gideon New Testament and Psalms. The reckless generosity of the Gideons didn't extend to the full work. But in the cell, there was nothing from the Bible at all. I would have expected the Gideons to understand that the dark night of the soul, the desolation of the human spirit, was more likely in a cell, no matter how wonderful the cell, than in a four star hotel.


I'd make a plea for the full works, the complete Bible. It would be a great pity if prisoners were to be denied the resources of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. There are many religious groups and organizations whose members believe that the Bible is the Word of God, all of it, but in practice, they badly neglect some of scripture. Robert Graves recounts a sermon in his First World War memoir 'Goodbye to all that.' The sermon was about an obscure topic, the commutation of tithes, 'Quite up in the air, and took the men's minds off the fighting.'


Reading about the commutation of tithes or the curtains of the tabernacle or the Urim and the Thummin  or 'A repetition of sundry laws' might provide more stimulation than staring at the door or the walls or the ceiling or the floor of a custody suite -- although I'd do anything to avoid reading the arid waste of those pages.


The Mosaic Mess

Dr Billings on a Miracle performed by God in the presence of Moses. In December, 2021 Alan Billings preached a sermon at St Mary's, Walkley, Sheffield. The miracle of the burning bush was prominent. This was one of God's (alleged) miracles, one of the ones put on for the benefit of Moses. This bush was burning wasn't consumed. In our experience, burning never leaves a bush unchanged. Alan Billings gave every appearance of believing in this miracle. Very curious - his lack of curiosity is very curious.


Miracles of Moses and Miracles performed by God in the presence of Moses.


In those times, many people believed any old rubbish. In our time, many people believe any old rubbish.


 1. Moses' rod turned into a serpent (Ex 4:2-3). 2. The serpent was transformed into a rod (Ex 4:4). 3. Moses' hand was turned leprous (Ex 4:6). 4. Moses' hand was healed of leprosy (Ex 4:7). 5. The rod was turned into a serpent (Ex 4:30). 6. The serpent was turned into a rod (Ex 4:30). 7. Moses' hand was made leprous (Ex 4:30). 8. Moses' hand was healed of leprosy (Ex 4:30). 9. Moses' rod was turned into a serpent (Ex 7:9-10) 10. Moses' rod swallowed the others (Ex 7:12). 11. The Nile River was changed into blood: first plague (Ex 7:14-25). 12. He created frogs: second plague (Ex 8:1-7)13. He caused the frogs to die (Ex 8:8-15). 14. He converted the dust to lice: third plague (Ex 8:16-19; the magicians could not do this, Ex 8:18- 15. He created flies: fourth plague (Ex 8:20-24). 16. He made Goshen exempt from flies (Ex 8:22). 17. He removed the flies from Egypt (Ex 8:29-32). 18. The murrain disease was imposed on Egyptian stock: fifth plague (Ex 9:1-7). 19. The stock of Israel was exempt (Ex 9:4-7). 20. He made boils from ashes: sixth plague (Ex 9:8-12). 21. Hail and fire came: seventh plague (Ex 9:13-35). 22. Goshen was exempt from the hail and fire (Ex 9:26). 23. Moses stopped the hail and fire (Ex 9:28-35). 24. Locusts descended: eighth plague (Ex 10:1-15) 25. The locusts were removed (Ex 10:16-20). 26. Darkness came: ninth plague (Ex 10:21-29). 27. Goshen was exempt from the total darkness (Ex 10:23). 28. Death came to Egypt's firstborn: tenth plague (Ex 11-12). 29. Israel's firstborn were exempt from death (Ex 11:7-10). 30. Moses made a path through the Red Sea, congealing the water (Ex 14:21-22). 31. He melted the ice of Red Sea (Ex 14:26-28). 32. The healing waters of Marah (Ex 15:23-26). 33. Bread from heaven (Ex 16:4-35; Num 11). 34. Quail to eat (Ex 16:8-13). 35. Water from the rock (Ex 17:1-7). 36. His victory over Midian (Ex 17:11-13). 37. He quenched the fire of death (Num 11:2). 38. The healing of Miriam (Num 12:13-16). 39. The earth swallowed the rebels (Num 16:28-33). 40. Moses stopped the plague (Num 16:44-50). 41. Water from the rock (Num 20:10-13). 42. The healing of Israel (Num 21:5-9; John 3:14).


Miracles that God performed when Moses was present (Ex 7:10) 1. God's glory filling tabernacle (Ex 40:34). 2. Fire consuming sacrifices (Lev 9:24). 3. Fire killing priests (Lev 10:2). 4. The Fire which consumed some people (Num 11:2). 5. The fire was quenched (Num 11:2). 6. A month's supply of quails for about 6,000,000 people (Num 11:19-35). 7. The leprosy that was fixed upon Miriam (Num 12:10). 8. The healing of Miriam (Num 12:13-16). 9. The plague upon ten spies (Num 14:37). 10. The earth swallowed the rebels (Num 16:32). 11. The fire which consumed some people (Num 16:35). 12. The plague which killed 14,700 people (Num 16:49). 13. Aaron's rod that bore almonds (Num 17:8). 14. Water from the rock (Num 20:11). 15. The healing of Israel (Num 21:5-9). 16. The plague which killed 24,000 people (Num 25:9).




Crusade: '1. Any of the military expeditions undertaken in the 1th, 12th and 13th centuries by the Christian powers of Europe to recapture the Holy Land from the Muslims. 2. (formerly) any holy war undertaken on behalf of a religious cause. 3. A vigorous and dedicated action or movement in favour of a cause.

For me, 'crusade' is a word which is tainted by its origins, those military expeditions, and by a further use, not mentioned in the dictionary definition quoted. Campaigners for causes are unlikely to describe themselves as 'crusaders' now. Evangelicals have often used the word in connection with mission - attempts to convert non-believers. I view Alan Billings as a man with a mission too. Although his activities are much wider than those of typical evangelicals, his thinking apparently much less narrow, I think that appearances are deceptive to a significant extent. This is someone who wants to further Christian mission, who wants to see South Yorkshire, the nation, the world as a whole, converted to a belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. If this is not the case, then he is free to put on record what his beliefs really amount to.

An extract from the site


which impresses me, to some extent, even though the author's views are naive to some extent. Its criticisms of evangelicals are ones that I share, but I don't share the author's views concerning other varieties of Christianity. Although Alan Billings may not be a Conservative evangelical, his beliefs intersect with theirs at many different points. He has presented Christianity to the public of South Yorkshire in an irresponsible way, downplaying or never mentioning some deeply disturbing evidence. The Rock Christian Centre in Sheffield is a conservative evangelical centre. As I've argued in other pages on these issues, it was very, very unwise of him to attend the event, the relaunch of the Christian Police Association - which is a Conservative Evangelical organization. Alan Billings has misused his position and now, I'd claim, it is hopelessly compromised.

At first sight, his view of political power is vastly more enlightened that the views of Conservative evangelicals. I claim that he has misused the power given to him in significant ways, on a significant number of occasions, as in his article published in the Yorkshire Post on being awake and being woke, complete with Biblical quotation concerned with the Second Coming of Jesus.

The extract from the article (which contains discussion of the Second Coming of Jesus):

At the dawn of 2022, forget the culture wars; this is a postmodern crusade, and the Christian soldiers are on the march. Evangelical Christians are medieval crusaders at heart.

In the 11th and 12th centuries, Christian Crusaders went to war to reclaim Jerusalem from the Muslim hordes. Pope Urban II told Christian soldiers if they died during the Crusades, they would have their sins forgiven.

Behold now the crusade of the 21st century. Almost a millennium has expired since the last Christian Crusade, but now it’s returned in all its gory violence. This is no longer about the forgiveness of sins or salvation; it’s about power, control, authority.


The first Crusaders were attempting to reclaim Jerusalem from the Muslims; these evangelical Christians are attempting to reclaim the United States for … well, for evangelicals.


An alternative universe

For the past six decades, evangelicals have been busy constructing an alternative universe of churches, schools, private colleges, Bible schools and seminaries. They have produced an amazing number of private colleges that home-schooled evangelical children can attend. An evangelical child can grow into adulthood with almost no contact with the outside world.


On the surface, the evangelicals seem harmless enough. Even though they are always pushing “creationism” as the only true reality of science, the majority of Americans are at best amused by Ken Ham’s museum. [My page Billingsgate includes information about the museum. It has a replica of 'Noah's Ark.]

Even when we are aware that evangelicals are convinced that the worldview of “creationism” is the final truth about reality, we are not that worried.

Even though Ken Ham is convinced that scientific naturalism is completely false and that the conflict between science and religion will be resolved if, and only if, the scientific community returns to a supernaturalistic framework, we are not really losing sleep.

When evangelicals push their “rapture” theory in sermons, books, movies and lectures, mainline Christians roll their eyes at what sounds like something out of science fiction.


A battle cry

My perspective suggests that the evangelical language of excess around creationism, rapture and American history relies on significant erasures of truth. I am convinced that evangelical political motives cannot be overlooked, underestimated or ignored. Hidden in what appears to be the biblical minutia of evangelical preaching is a battle cry, a gathering of the faithful for a crusade against all the evil in the nation.

There is an itch in the evangelical mind that suggests they are not content with the alternative universe they have built. Evangelicals still have the crusader mentality. Like the Christian troops attacking Muslims during the Crusades, evangelicals long to be in charge. They have been amassing troops at the border of the secular culture and preparing for war.

The irony is that the evangelicals, starting out as Christians, shifted to being good Americans, and founded schools to train students to have the highest security levels, work at the State Department, the Defense Department, and join the FBI and the CIA.


Since they already control the label of “Christian” in our culture, they believe it is God’s will for them also to control the nation. America has become the church for evangelicals. Watch the video of one Fourth of July service at First Baptist Church of Dallas and when you recover from the idolatrous display of patriotism that includes fireworks in the sanctuary, there can be little doubt of the allegiance of the evangelicals to the country they are determined to control and reshape in their own image.

The Bush-era White House had about as many interns from Patrick Henry College   as Georgetown, the journalist Hanna Rosin wrote in her 2007 book, God's Harvard. Students in the small evangelical school’s strategic intelligence program can graduate with security clearances from their summer internships, making Patrick Henry College a feeder school for the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency, various branches of the military, and intelligence contractors. Many students go there with dreams of becoming a senator or the Supreme Court justice who helps overturn Roe v. Wade.

Evangelical students come to a school like Patrick Henry to become good Americans. Yet their graduates would be hard-pressed to say whether their loyalty is to the American flag or the Cross. Allegiance to the flag is as natural as breathing to students trained in America as the Church. It comes with the territory.

The primary vision of these schools is that their graduates can be the invading troops that take America for the evangelical cause. Why would good evangelical students, most of whom knew better than to think about becoming preachers, need to know about politics? Because politics, not theology, would prepare them to rule the nation.

A desire to control church and state

Evangelicals believe that until they are in charge, the nation is on a straight path to hell. Therefore, abortion must be outlawed. No exceptions. Gay marriage must be declared unconstitutional. Religious liberty for evangelicals must be complete and total, including the right to condemn gays, minorities, immigrants and any group deemed unacceptable.

Dominionists, with their view that Christians are biblically mandated to occupy all positions of power and authority, and Reconstructionists, with their view of a theonomic government, may be written off as fringe groups, but they map the evangelical dream of what a Christian nation should be. Patrick Henry, Cedarville University, Liberty University, Moody Bible Institute, Regent University, and a plethora of evangelical schools have established Christian Officer Training Corps to prepare for the coming war on secular culture.

The evangelicals will not rest until they control church and state. They are a restless people, and they are not content with having a piece of the action. Like a rich man who always needs “more,” evangelicals lust for total control.

When evangelicals sing Onward Christian Soldiers, they are not being metaphorical. They mean those words. They are prepared to do whatever is necessary to be in charge. Having secured a base in their own churches and schools, they now intend to take over the country. They will keep pounding on the doors of public school boards insisting on the teaching of intelligent design and raising hell against Critical Race Theory. They will keep promoting the fiction that America was born as a Christian nation, and they will keep fighting to make America a “Christian” nation in the image of evangelical understandings of the word “Christian.”

Deceptive rhetoric

Evangelical rhetoric is deceptive about change. When they tout “religious liberty,” they don’t mean for that liberty to extend to everyone.

Evangelical deception lies in their insincere promise of a national salvation. They promise to redeem America from a host of mythological, made-to-order enemies, but it is a promise of redemption made on a hidden rhetoric of demolition.

The archetypal trope that unmasks the true crusader spirit of the evangelicals lies in the deceptive claim that evangelicals love Israel. Even a cursory reading of the evangelical commitment to the rapture theory shows that the constant avowals of love are muted by the evangelical belief that “soon and very soon” Jesus will rapture the true believers, and the unbelieving Jews will be exterminated.

Evangelical love comes wrapped in a bright red, white and blue package with an American flag, but when opened there’s condemnation, conflagration and destruction. The package is a seductive spectacle promising to restore lost glory by at last demolishing all the ancient and modern enemies of the evangelicals.

Evangelicals present themselves as a theology or ideology that is rigorously objective. They claim to be wedded to the truth and to the rationality of the Bible. Yet real truth would unravel evangelical claims of science-denial and history denial and a glorification of a past that wasn’t so glorious.

How odd, that a religious movement dedicated to the pursuit of truth is now sidelined by a commitment to post-truth and truth is seen as a worthy sacrifice for the goal of ruling the nation.

Postmillennial evangelicals marching to war

In a mind-boggling double irony, evangelicals were postmillennial before they were premillennial. Postmillennialism is a belief that the world will keep getting better and better until progress ushers in the kingdom of God. Premillennialism teaches that the world will keep getting worse until a time of Great Tribulation after the true believers have been raptured from the earth.

From the early writings of Hal Lindsay to the current rapture musings of Robert Jeffress, evangelicals became committed premillennialists. They teach that the end is near. Jesus is coming “in their lifetime,” they herald.

Yet in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, evangelicals saw a sliver of light that changed their eschatology again. They saw an opportunity to stop having sand kicked in their collective faces, a chance to win and be in charge.

Balmer claims that evangelicals have put premillennial dreams and hopes on hold and instead of saying, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus,” they are now saying: “Wait, Lord. Please postpone your return. We have a real chance to grasp the power and run the country. We would prefer that you not come just yet.”


Whatever is to be the fate of democracy, the worst outcome of all would be a new dark age where evangelicals control church, culture and government. This mythic illusory narrative of godly exceptionalism will only produce a fearsome domination that no freedom-lover can stomach.

The author is too despondent, too pessimistic here, and in some other places. There may be a new dark age, but evangelical control is real but limited in scope, even in the United States.

Jill Duff, the Bishop of Lancaster, can use resounding phrases about the destiny of this country but in practice, she and people who think like her (if what they speak and write on Christianity can be described as the product of thought) are achieving results not in the least in accordance with their grandiose designs. Jill Duff who took part in the film 'The Beautiful Story,' the Conservative Evangelical film on human sexuality, which contained these statements of Conservative Evangelical doctrine:

'Scripture prohibits in every way, in every form, same sex sexual relationships.'

' ... God's good design for sexual relationships is non-negotiable.'

'Gay sex is wrong.'

'If the Bible teaches that homosexual activity is sin, then a gospel ministry must include, must be willing to say, that is sin, and that must be repented of.'

'A sense of God's judgement, that he does ask us to be obedient, so that this is not a trivial matter. This is part of the Apostolic teaching.'

The vast majority of people will pay no attention to these views. Evangelicals in Blackburn managed to entice a very small number of people to some disused allotments in Blackburn, where Jill Duff baptized a few people. This isn't one more sign that this nation is yearning to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

This is Jill Duff speaking, or so she believes, to her God:

'We claim this nation for Jesus. We pray your kingdom come, your will be done, in our churches, in our families, in our schools, in our businesses, in our government, in our legal system, in our entertainment and arts and sport and for your key workers, across every corner of this nation ... thank you that your horses and chariots of fire are on the hills all around and we ask that they may be potent in our time in claiming our nation for you ... Jesus I pray that you would call many lost sons and daughters home safe at last ... I pray for the descending of the heavenly United Kingdom to earth.'


The Billingsgate Challenge: Questions for the Police and Crime Commissioner


The possibility that the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner will reply is remote -  but his silence can speak volumes. 


1. A question concerning 'hate crime.'


Quotation from one of the Billingsgate Questions below:


'If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.'


Is this verse from the Bible (Leviticus 20:13) an example of 'Hate Crime?' If not, why not? Is it harmful or absolutely harmless? Is it the 'Word of God' or not? The people at Rock Christian Centre, where Bibles were presented at the event you attended, believe it's the word of God. The passage where it appears is read out in one of the Rock Christian Centre You Tube videos discussed below.


Is Alan Billings certain that this can't possibly amount to thought crime or hate speech because it appears in The Bible, 'the word of God.' Is it impossible for the word of God to be hateful? Can he really claim that all the instances of thought crime or hate speech dealt with by South Yorkshire Police, with his active encouragement, are more hateful than any of this?


2. Did you know when you attended the event at the Rock Christian Centre with Sergeant Kirkham and Stephen Watson, the Chief Constable at the time that the Gideons - also present at the event - don't admit women as full members and still don't?


3. The Christian Police Association and the Rock Christian Centre and many, many other organizations, together with countless Churches, make it clear that they believe in the infallibility of the Bible. Do you believe in the infallibility of the Bible? If not, could you give a list of some verses which seem to you not to be the 'word of God?' Below, there's a quotation from Exodus 11 about the babies and children - the first-born of Egyptians, including Egyptian slaves. Do you think that God actually spoke those words? If you aren't a fundamentalist, how do you decide if words allegedly spoken by God, Jesus, Old and New Testament writers, were actually spoken by them? Could you explain the system you use?


A comment, not a question: Alan Billings, you do realize, don't you, what Churches in Sheffield are capable of, what cruel rubbish they are capable of quoting, what cruel rubbish they can preach? First, some material from a Youtube video published by the Rock Christian Centre, followed by material on the same subject published for a Sunday School, aimed at children. All young children are vulnerable to a greater or lesser extent, and you claim that your policies will help the vulnerable. Shouldn't you be doing something about the indoctrination of young children - or is the fact that these are fellow-Christians a hindrance to you?


Both sets of material are about God's killing of the first born of the Egyptians, the so-called Plague No. 10. The first 9 plagues sent by God had failed to persuade the ruler, Pharaoh, to alllow the Israelites to leave Egypt. Now, God was trying the most drastic methods. Does this not raise questions about 'divine omnipotence?' God tried other ways of persuading Pharaoh but now he is trying another method - which involves families all over Egypt losing their babies and young children. The families have had nothing to do with Pharaoh's refusal but they are made to suffer, and suffer in an extreme way.


The Rock Christian Centre video.




Extract from the Bible quotation given, Exodus Chapter 11:


[1] Now the Lord had said to Moses, "I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely ...  [4] So Moses said, "This is what the Lord says: 'About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. [5] Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. [6] There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt---worse than there has ever been or ever will be again.


From the teaching materials on the site




Final Plague-Death of the Firstborn Sunday School Lesson (Exodus 11-13)


Tell the Story

Say: God had sent 9 plagues upon Egypt to demonstrate His mighty power so that His name would be made great. But Pharaoh refused to free the Israelites from slavery. His heart was hard towards God! Moses had warned Pharaoh that there was one final plague coming, and it would be worse than the first nine. Let’s read from God’s Word to find out what this plague would be.
Read Exodus 11:4-6: “So Moses said, ‘This is what the LORD says; ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again.”’
Ask: Who can tell me what the final plague is? (Allow time for kids to respond.)
Say: That’s right. The firstborn son in every Egyptian family would die.
Ask: Why do you think God would do this to the Egyptians? (Allow time for kids to respond.)
Say: Our God is a just God. That means that He takes sin very seriously and punishes those who harden their hearts against Him. God had every right to punish the Egyptians for refusing to obey Him. By sending the first nine plagues God had put His power on display for Egypt to see, yet they still remained disobedient. Now God would show His justice.
Say: God had a special task for the Israelites in order to spare them from this final plague. Each Israelite family was to take a one-year old, unblemished lamb and slaughter it. They were to eat the meat along with a special meal of bitter herbs and bread without yeast. Then God gave them some other interesting instructions. Let’s read God’s Word and as we do, listen to see if you can hear what God’s instructions were to His people.
Read Exodus 12: 7, 12-13: Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn—both men and animals—and I will bring judgment on all of gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.”
Ask: What did God tell them to do with the lamb’s blood? (Allow time for kids to answer.)
Say: That’s right. He instructed them to put the blood on their doorframes. When God moved through Egypt, He would see the blood and the firstborn sons within those homes would not be killed. God was showing His great mercy on His people!
Say: Did you know that even today God’s people are saved by the blood of a lamb? Jesus is just like the unblemished lambs that the Israelites were to use on Passover night. But we don’t put Jesus’ blood on our doorframes do we? Instead, when we trust in Jesus to save us from our sins, we are in a sense covered by His blood and are saved! Now, when God brings judgment, rather than face punishment, God passes over us and forgives our sins.
Say: That night God moved through Egypt and just as He had said, all the firstborn sons died, including Pharaoh’s own son.
Read Exodus 12:31: “During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, ‘Up! Leave my people you and the Israelites! God, worship the Lords as you have requested. Take your flocks and herds, as you have said and God. And also bless me.’”
Say: Finally Pharaoh relented and allowed the Israelites to leave Egypt. It might seem like this is the end of the story, but it’s really just the beginning of the story of God leading His people to their own land. We’ll hear more about it in the coming weeks

Review Questions

  • What did God require the Israelites to do to be saved? (Put lamb’s blood on their doorframes.)

  • What did the Israelites put on their doorframes? (Blood from a slaughtered lamb.)

  • What happened in the homes that didn’t have blood on the door? (The firstborn child died.)

  • How is the blood on the doorframes like Jesus’ blood shed on the cross?


4. By inserting material on your Christian beliefs into newspaper articles, PCC blog articles, often with Biblical quotations, by inserting a Biblical quotation into 'Keeping Safe:' The Police and Crime Plan for South Yorkshire 2017 - 2021,' I claim that you've failed to adhere to the principles of impartiality. I need to elaborate, I need to give further reasons why your behaviour was wrong. Image management is big business now. It's part of Public Relations Management. 'Media mentions' are a part of image management. Companies, but not just companies, organizations of many different kinds, want to see favourable mentions, not always direct mentions, in Web and print media. They increase the Visibility of the Brand.  Churches are a kind of Brand. The public give them large amounts of money. Granted, their costs are massive - all those massive Churches to maintain - but the fact that they have all those buildings is an indication of their financial power.

Favourable mentions are free advertizing, and what you have done amounts to free advertizing. It may not have influenced many people, but people who have rarely or never given any thought to the church will have seen the names and the references slipped into his accounts.


My case is that you have attempted to further the Church and Christianity in ways which are not legitimate, given the necessary restrictions on the activities of Police and Crime Commissioners. I'd claim that you have broken your oath, which requires Police and Crime Commissioners to be impartial. Do you have any comments?


5. I've written often about issues arising from the branches of theology called soteriology, the so-called study of salvation, and hamartiology, the so-called study of sin, but generally not in a formal, systematic way. My treatment of the issues has been very wide-ranging, with illustrative examples from many spheres, including the Holocaust, military action, and ordinary human life in times of peace. Here, I mention examples only from the lives of people in South Yorkshire, but serving police officers and others in South Yorkshire Police as well as the South Yorkshire people they serve.


Do you share the conservative evangelical view of sin and salvation explicitly endorsed by the Christian Police Association and the Rock Christian Centre, the place where the South Yorkshire Christian Police Association was relaunched - but explicitly endorsed by so many other branches of Christianity? The belief is that only members of South Yorkshire Police who have accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour are 'saved' and spend eternity in heaven. All the others are damned and spend eternity in Hell, sharing exactly the same fate as people who have been guilty of horrific crimes - the ones who have never accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour. Loving mothers and fathers, children who were violently abused by mothers or fathers who were far from loving, working people, South Yorkshire Councillors and MP's - everyone in South Yorkshire, apart from the small minority of the supposedly saved, is destined for damnation.


Is that your view? If not, could you explain the differences? Could you outline what your own theological beliefs are with regard to questions of sin and salvation?




The Sermon

By the Revd Canon Alan Billings. 


Then we have the gospel for today. We jump forward 1200 years. Jesus and his three disciples on another mountain. And the disciples have an experience which is equally strange and mysterious.


They see their teacher and friend, Jesus, transfigured in front of them, rather as the burning bush was transfigured for Moses. Again, a sense that this is holy ground, a little fearfulness. Yet God draws near and speaks to them out of the cloud that overshadows them, ‘This is my Son, the beloved; listen to him!’


And this was the Gospel he refers to:


Mark 9.2-9


Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.

Does the Revd Canon actually believe this? Does he believe that Elijah and Moses talked with Jesus? Yes, he does believe it.


The Revd Canon obviously has not just a high opinion of Moses but believes that Moses has a very high place in the history of God's revelation. This is a You tube video published by the Rock Christian Centre, the place he attended to mark the relaunch of the Christian Police Association - the Fundamentalist Christian Police Association.





The text which is spoken (Leviticus 20) is provided in written form. Extracts from the text:


[1] The Lord said to Moses, [2] "Say to the Israelites: 'Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him.



[10] " 'If a man commits adultery with another man's wife---with the wife of his neighbor---both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death. [11] " 'If a man sleeps with his father's wife, he has dishonored his father. Both the man and the woman must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. [12] " 'If a man sleeps with his daughter-in-law, both of them must be put to death. What they have done is a perversion; their blood will be on their own heads. [13] " 'If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. [14] " 'If a man marries both a woman and her mother, it is wicked. Both he and they must be burned in the fire, so that no wickedness will be among you. [15] " 'If a man has sexual relations with an animal, he must be put to death, and you must kill the animal. [16] " 'If a woman approaches an animal to have sexual relations with it, kill both the woman and the animal. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. [17] " 'If a man marries his sister , the daughter of either his father or his mother, and they have sexual relations, it is a disgrace. They must be cut off before the eyes of their people. He has dishonored his sister and will be held responsible. [18] " 'If a man lies with a woman during her monthly period and has sexual relations with her, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has also uncovered it. Both of them must be cut off from their people. [19] " 'Do not have sexual relations with the sister of either your mother or your father, for that would dishonor a close relative; both of you would be held responsible. [20] " 'If a man sleeps with his aunt, he has dishonored his uncle. They will be held responsible; they will die childless.



[27] " 'A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.' "






























   South Yorkshire Counter - Evangelism: Snippets [Snippets: 'scraps or fragments']



Blasphemy, Heresy,  Witchcraft, Burning to Death. King James and the King James Bible (Authorized Version). Bible-based dotrine and Bible-based barbarity. The Lichfield Connection.

Above, plaque in the Market Place, Lichfield. Amongst  his 'heresies' was a disbelief in the doctrine of the Trinity and the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed. Three weeks before Edward Wightman was burned alive in Lichfield, Bartholomew Legate was burned alive in Smithfield, London for blasphemous heresy. Bartholomew Legate had denied the doctrine of the Trinity and the creeds. King James ordered that the death sentences should be carried out in both cases.

Above, Richard Neile, Bishop of Lichfield. He interrogated Edward Wightman. Edward Wightman wrote a document on his theological veiws and delivered copies to members of the clergy, as well as King James. It did him no good.

The final verdict and list of charges included


'the wicked heresies of Elbion, Cerinthus, Valentinian, Arius, Macedonius, Simon Magus, Manichees, Photinus and of the Anabaptists and other arch heretics, and moreover, of other cursed opinions belched by the instinct of Satan.'


He was ordered to be placed 'in some public and open place below the city aforesaid [and] before the people burned in the detestation of the said crime and for manifest example of other Christians that they may not fall into the same crime.'


Above, painting by Rubens, 'The Apotheosis of James I' on the ceiling of the Banqueting Hall, Banqueting House, Whitehall, showing the King carried up to heaven by angels.

King James is best known now for the translation of 'The Holy Bible' which he sponsored, the 'King James Version' or 'Authorized Version,' but he was a persecutor of 'blasphemers' and 'heretics' and even more active as a persecutor of 'witches,' authorizing the torture and execution of many women for supposed witchcraft.

The translation of Exodus 22:18 in the King James Version is

'Thou shalt not suffer [permit] a witch to live.'

Other translations:

'Death is the punishment for witchcraft.' (Contemporary English Version)

'Put to death any woman who practises magic.'
(Good News Translation)

'You shall not permit a female sorcerer to live.'
New Revised Standard Version

King James saw himself as 'Defender of the Faith' - and defending the faith included the execution of blasphemers, heretics and witches.

He wrote the book 'Daemonologie,' which endorsed  witch-hunting.

The book begins,

'The feaefull aboundinge at this time in this countrie, of these detestable slaves of the Devil, the Witches or enchanters, hath moved me (beloved reader) to dispatch in post, this following treatise of mine (...) to resolve the doubting (...) both that such assaults of Satan are most certainly practised, and that the instrument thereof merits most severely to be punished.'

Throughout, he used Biblical teachings and quoted scripture. The book influenced the 'witch-finder' Matthew Hopkins, who was responsible for bringing to trial and executing an estimated 300 witches between 1644 and 1646.

King James believed that witches had caused storms which endangered himself and his Danish bride whilst sailing across the North Sea. Later, it was claimed, 200 witches, some from Denmark, had sailed, not in boats but in sieves, to the coastal town of North Berwick in 1590. It was claimed that the devil preached to them, encouraging them to plot the destruction of the King. There were confessions, extracted by torture. Jing James believed that a witchcraft conspiracy threatened him.

The last documented executions of witches in England were at Bideford in Devon. Three women, two of them beggars, were hanged after being accused of making a woman fall ill by supernatural means.

Remembrance: courageous men, courageous women, and animals

In this section, a copy of material which was added to my page on bullfighting a long time ago. I provide the introductory material here, which gives the original context, cruelty to animals and the wide-ranging issues arising from this particular practice. The context here is different, as background material for comments to be added to the site on the Church of England and remembrance. Cruelty to animals is also yet another important set of issues which has been almost completely neglected by the Churches. Since animals don't have souls, according to orthodox Christian belief, cruelty to animals is an unimportant issue, an issue with no importance at all. Well into the nineteenth century, in this country, in those unspoilt villages, towns and cathedral cities, bull and bear baiting flourished, with no objections from the churches.

Courageous men, courageous women, and animals


Tristan Garel-Jones, in his Proclamation of the Maestranza Bullring  ('El Pregón Taurino de la Maestranza'):


'In the Anglo Saxon world ... they are no longer able to look death in the face. Indeed they are hardly able to pronounce so much as the word.' 


Alexander Fiske-Harrison, speaking in support of Tristan Garel-Jones:


British and American culture is 'a culture which is afraid to even think of death.'


According to Alexander Fiske Harrison, the proclamation was


calling aficionados to arms in defence of bullfighting. (' ... llamando a los aficionados a las armas en defensa de la fiesta de los toros.')



Above. part of Tyne Cot  cemetery, between Ypres and Paschendaele (now 'Passendale'), with the graves of 11 954 soldiers, on land assigned in perpetuity by King Albert I of Belgium in recognition of the sacrifices made by British and Commonwealth forces in the defence and liberation of Belgium  during the First World War. Below, the Menin Gate Memorial at Ieper / Ypres recording the names of 54 389 officers and men from United Kingdom and Commonwealth Forces who died in the Ypres salient before 16 August 1917 and who have no known grave.



Below, Remembrance Day images.



Below, the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, Surrey, commemorates by name the 20,401 airmen who were lost in the Second World War during operations from bases in the United Kingdom and North and Western Europe, and who have no known graves. © Copyright Brendan and Ruth McCartney and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence.



Below, memorial to some of the Royal Navy dead of Portsmouth: the WW1 memorial. The WW2 memorial is behind it. From the inscription: ' ... to the abiding memory of these ranks and ratings of this port who... have no other grave than the sea ...' The memorials record the names of 14 9222 men and women from the port who died in the Second World War and 9 666 who died in the Second World War. © Copyright Peter Facey and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence. See also the memorial at Tower Hill, London, for the 36 000 members of the merchant navy (all civilians and volunteers)  who died in the two world wars, very often after U-boat attack, and who also have no other grave than the sea. During the Second World War, Britain needed over a million tonnes of imported supplies each week to survive. The merchant navy transported these supplies.



Below, part of the American cemetery near Omaha beach, Normandy, with the graves of 9 387 American service men and women who died for the liberation of Europe on and after D-day.



Lord Garel-Jones, in the Maenstranza Proclamation:


'The English word "pet" has no exact translation into Spanish ... The British have this sentimentalism towards animals ingrained in their DNA.'


Below, photograph from the collection of the National Library of Scotland, with the caption: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. R.A.F. men with their pet rabbits at a Squadron near the lines.'


Greg Allwood, writing on the page




'Airmen, of course, sometimes had stunningly short life expectancies ... In ‘On a Wing and a Prayer’, Joshua Levine tells us that at one point new pilots might only be expected to last 11 days.'


Below, Sergeant B Furst  with the squadron mascot on return to Duxford, Cambridgeshire after combat during the Battle of Britain,  September 7, 1940. Earlier that day, he had shot down the Messerschmitt of Wener Goetting, who parachuted from the plane uninjured and was made a Prisoner of War.



Below, the Animals in War Memorial, Brook Gate, London. The sculptor, David Backhouse, writes of his work, 'The themes are simple and universal: the interdependence of nature and humanity, and the search for balance and harmony. My sculptures are meditations on the human and animal condition in the modern world, reflecting loss and tragedy, hope and delight, and above all tenacity of spirit.' © Copyright Stephen McKay and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence.



Amongst those who attended the unveling was former gunner Col John Andrews of Winchester, Hampshire. He attended in memory of mules who helped during his time in the jungle in Burma in 1944. He said,  'My life was saved by the mules ...' [Two mules are shown above.]


PDSA Director General Marilyn Rydstrom said the memorial was 'the nation's long-awaited and very welcome tribute' to the animals.

'It will also stand as a testament to the extraordinary bond that animals share with mankind in times of extreme adversity.'



Snippets on a current complaint: against Alan Billings, Church of England priest, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner








Above, image of Paul Hunt of Rock Christian centre reading from Leviticus 20




Paul Hunt reads out the text which is provided with the video, without comment. Amongst the issues raised in this passage are these: bad language to a father or mother, homosexuality, sexual relations during menstruation and acting as a medium.


Reading from Exodus 22:




Reading from Deuteronomy 21:




Below, extract from the 'Arise!' site, a few of the churches which are members of 'Arise!'






gives the names and functions of the six people who make up the diocesan 'Parish Support Team.' These are just a few of the many, many people employed by the Diocese. The resources of the South Yorkshire Churches and Christian organisations are so much greater than the resources available to me. They have vastly more people, vastly more money and vastly more prominence. I'm a single individual, with so many demands on my time - counter-evangelism is simply one activity among many - and my financial resources are negligible.

Despite this imbalance, despite the vast advantages of the Churches and Christian organisations, in my experience, their power is feeble - the power, that is, to answer reasoned argument supported by detailed evidence. In my experience, counter-evangelism is met with complete silence. These people are incapable of making a vigorous response.

This is information provided on the page of the 'Parish Support Team' about one of their staff:

The Revd John Marsh - Mission Development Advisor  

As part of delivering the new diocesan strategy John will mainly be focused on the Rejuvenated strand which includes supporting and training churches to help them start a new congregation or church plant, and supporting churches to help them grow their church younger.  John also oversees the delivery and development of the Resource Churches part of the strategy. 


John Marsh has publicized the 'Garden Church' which is on allotments near to my allotments. I don't give any material on the garden church and the 'issues arising' because the issues arising are so wide-ranging that a summary would be inadequate. There are many pages which do provide the material, listed in the column to the left.


Extract from an email sent to the Office of the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner on 28 March:


...  if the Police and Crime Commissioner had not encouraged - or required - South Yorkshire Police to investigate and take action in regard to a whole range of comments with absolutely no regard for the adverse consequences, then none of these adverse consequences would have happened. The adverse consequences have arisen as a result of sending out police constables without any attempt elicit my own testimony, to carry out an investigation first, instead depending wholly on the unreliable testimony of the complainants -  [names withheld here but provided in the email sent]  - but a stronger word than 'unreliable' is called for. As it is, the damage is done, and whatever damage may have been caused already, future damage may well exceed it.

The extract concerning free expression which comes from Lord Justice Sedley, given above [but not provided in this extract] makes it clear that the law upholds the right to free expression when the expression is not genteel or courteous. In actual fact, the email and letter which I sent to the Church Army were very courteous. The 'Written Warning' issued by Sergeant Kirkham includes this, 'When you write these emails and letters it causes great upset to  [the complainant] and her colleagues at work.'

[The complainant and colleagues employed be the Church Army. The 'colleagues' amount to two people - like the complainant, these are people active in the field of Mission, including new forms of mission. They would find the material I made available relevant to their work. John Marsh and others have publicized 'New Congregations.' The garden church near to my allotments was the '12th new congregation. The people at the Church Army I contacted are involved in the promotion of 'new forms of mission' too, although using a different name. I would make the point very strongly: these new forms of mission are vulnerable, open to the same objections as established forms of mission. The many pages on Christian belief on this site give my reasons at length.]

[Returning to the content of the email I sent, the phrase, ' 'When you write these emails and letters it causes great upset to  [the complainant] and her colleagues at work.' ]

This is factually incorrect, for one thing: instead of the plural' that should have been the singular - one email and one letter. The text of the email and letter - readily available on my Website and made available to various individuals who have played a part in handling my complaints - make it absolutely clear that in one respect at least the phrasing of the Written Warning is correct - that I made a 'mention' of Christianity - and that it was only a mention. Most of the material in the email and letter was concerned with very different matters, for example, issues to do with security and safety. An extract from my email to [the complainant] - it was received by [the two 'colleagues' at the Church Army]  it was never received by [the complainant.'  [The complainant's] claims to have been bombarded with emails and letters from me are completely false. I wrote,

'I've been informed that youths have sometimes gathered in the LWCG garden [LWCG: Lower Walkley Community Garden, the group which gave permission for the Garden Church / Forest Church to use their land but in contravention, so far as I know, of allotment regulations ] and been involved in solvent abuse. I can't verify this but an open garden obviously carries security risks. The  LWCG garden is some distance from the road, down the long and gloomy heavily path by the side of the Walkley Bank Allotment Association hut. The garden itself is shielded from view. It may not be likely that the church members would meet trouble but if they ever did, this isn't the kind of place where it would be easy to get help quickly.

I don't think this is being too alarmist. About thirty years ago, there was a murder on an allotment site in the Rivelin Valley. Three youths were sniffing glue in the allotment. Two of them turned on the third and stabbed him with a garden tool. In the time I've had my allotments, there have been some troubling incidents affecting allotment holders, including threatening behaviour directed at them. The Forest Church has ignored the serious problems to do with security.


I also included this in the email: 


'From the introduction to 'Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book:' In my most optimistic moments, I see every town ringed again with small gardens, nurseries, allotments, greenhouses, orchards, as it was in the past, an assertion of delight and human scale.'


An important point. I wrote in the email which supposedly caused 'great upset,' 'The Forest Church has ignored the serious problems to do with security.' The Facebook page of the Garden Church makes it clear that the organizers really had overlooked problems to do with security and safety. It gave the information that the launch date for the first event of the Garden Church had been delayed - due to issues concerning security! An extract from the Facebook page (13 October, 2021):




 Unfortunately we have had to postpone our launch event. We are taking a couple of weeks to ensure that it will be really great and everyone who attends is safe. We do not have a new date yet but will let you know when possible.


Please continue to get in touch. We look forward to meeting you all very soon!


The Garden Church Team.

It was delayed by far more than a 'couple of weeks.' The first meeting of the Church took place on 6 March, 2022.

Extract from the



[emphasis as in the document] issued to me on 15 February, 2022. Two members of South Yorkshire Police called at my house to deliver the document:


' ... being satisfied that your conduct is having  a detrimental effect of a persistent or continuing nature on the quality of life of those in the locality and the conduct is unreasonable now issue you with a WRITTEN WARNING.

From the section of this 'Written Warning,'  'Details of the conduct:'

'The Police have become aware of you contacting [the complainant] via email and hand delivered letters ... In some of these correspondences you mention her personal faith. When you write these emails and letters it causes great upset to [the complainant] and her colleagues at work.'


This is complete falsification. I sent ONE email to the complainant but it was never received by the complainant. I sent ONE letter to the complainant. The email and the letter were courteous. They were about allotment law, issues to do with security and other practical matters. They contained a mention of some reasons for opposing the use of allotments for Christian worship. 


Sergeant Kirkham, who issued the Warning, is or was a member of the Christian Police Association, a fundamentalist conservative evangelical organisation. He includes an objection to 'mention of her personal faith' but later claimed that he had no idea that the complainant was a Christian! This claim  cannot possibly be true. This cannot be anything other than a lie.


Article 10 of the Human Rights Act supports my right to mention Christian faith. By supposing otherwise, Sergeant Kirkham was surely breaking the law.


On the evidence I have, South Yorkshire Police and the South Yorkshire Police and Crime have next to no appreciation for the importance of free expression in our democracy and next to no knowledge of the law relating to freedom of expression.


Extract from an email I sent to the Office of the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner on 21 March, 2023:


I intend to begin campaigning in connection with the wide-ranging issues raised by my complaint to the Professional Standards Department concerning Sergeant Kirkham and the many issues I've discussed in my communications with the Office of the PCC [A complaint against the PCC is  in progress, and quite soon -  next month. I've now designed a system which allows me to present images in colour and text without the inconveniences of hand-held placards and without taking up pavement space. I've previously designed a campervan extension for my van - I've tested it but couldn't possibly spare the time to use it myself for purposes other than testing - and now I've designed a display extension for my van, which makes use of a roof frame I designed and installed.

I intend to use the new system regularly to publicize 'Paul Hurt Design - Construction,' allowing me to mount a large display of the images on the Home Page of my site and to change displays very easily, without the need for more of the magnetic signs which I already use. The new display system will allow me to use a variety of image-text combinations to promote my campaigning work.

I see this system as an important part of my design and construction work and an important part of my campaigning work. However, I don't regard this as a primary method of campaigning but simply as a useful supplementary activity.

I will be able to use the images I use to promote my work in gardening and related activities to promote the work which relates to South Yorkshire Police and the PCC. I will point to a fact which
should be obvious: that the insulting claim that my conduct 'is having a detrimental effect of a persistent or continuing nature on the quality of life of those in the locality' is toxic rubbish. My activities have been enhancing the locality. A look at the Home Page of my site
 www.linkagenet.com  already makes this clear, but this additional method of presenting images and text will supplement the online images and text.

A selection from the  material above (not the information about John March but including material on Sheffield Cathedral) may be included in revised form in the display material used in this campaign. At this early stage in the planning of the campaign, no decisions have been made concerning content or other aspects of the campaign.