Alex Sproule with the BNP 'truth truck' outside Lichfield Cathedral
Alex Sproule with the BNP 'truth truck' outside Lichfield Cathedral

The Archdeacon of Lichfield has hit out at the BNP after an activist tried to take a photograph with Lichfield Cathedral as a backdrop.

The activist arrived in Cathedral Close this afternoon with a large advertising van displaying a pro-BNP poster.  He was challenged by the Archdeacon of Lichfield, the Ven Chris Liley, who demanded the advertising van be removed from the Cathedral’s precincts.

The Cathedral authorities have now said they will be writing to the BNP to demand that they not publish any promotional or marketing material which uses the building as a backdrop or which implies any endorsement of the BNP’s views or policies.

The Ven Chris Liley said:

“Lichfield Cathedral is a place of Christian worship and the centre of mission for the Diocese of Lichfield.  We are open to all and want everybody to feel welcome here – but people visiting the Cathedral must act in a way which does not damage the cathedral nor the welcome that we are able to offer other visitors.”

However the BNP have defended their actions and claimed they are “voicing the opinion of the people of Lichfield”.

BNP spokesman Simon Darby told The Lichfield Blog:

“We sent our truth truck along because a lot of people in Lichfield are very upset by the planned mosque. If this was a Labour or Islamic poster would the Cathedral have taken the same action? The Archdeacon should spend more time defending the Christian faith because it needs it.

“I lived nearby for a long time and would often visit the city and go shopping so I know that Lichfield is a beautiful place to visit – we want it to stay that way. This isn’t about immigration – it’s about colonisation.”

In recent weeks the BNP have been targeting Christian voters and last month unveiled an advertising poster headed: What would Jesus Do – Vote BNP.

Chris Liley added:

“The BNP are wrong to suggest that Jesus would vote for the BNP.  I don’t know who he would vote for, but his parable of the Good Samaritan was a clear example about the value we should place on people from other communities.

“Lichfield Cathedral encourages people to vote in elections and we seek to engage with all legitimate politicians.  But we will not endorse any particular candidate or party and it is wrong for any party to seek to use the Cathedral in a way which might imply endorsement, regardless of how much we may support or oppose what they stand for.”

But the BNP insist the groundswell of opposition to the proposed mosque in Lichfield will benefit them in forthcoming European and County elections.

Mr Darby added:

“People will be in for a big surprise when it comes to the counting up of votes in the elections. We’ll be standing for both the European and County elections and we’re confident of getting a big share of the vote.”


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

21 replies on “BNP activist removed from outside Lichfield Cathedral”

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  1. You know how vegans cut out all animal products from their diet, and even go so far as not using animal tested products? Well, I’d like to see BNP members do the same but avoiding anything that has been through the hands of immigrants. They’d soon find out how much they contribute to British society and how invaluable they are.

    I’d love to see some graphs showing the contributions of ‘natives’ compared to ‘immigrants’ to the British economy – I bet it’d be an eye opener for some of the people opposed to a mosque.

  2. I knew they would come and want a say once the Mosque plans were unveiled – yay Lichfields becoming like any other city

  3. i wish I had been there!

    they would of had to remove their camera out of a very dark place.

    BNP?????????? What a joke!

    Go Chris Liley, you rock!

  4. It’s not a “troop truck” the BNP has. They call it their “truth truck” but anti-fascists call it the lie lorry.

  5. The BNP continually try to justify their simplistic racism as political debate.
    I hope that many of the people who complained about the mosque for ‘NIMBY’ purposes will now see how these dangerous people can turn their complaints into racist propaganda.

  6. give the bnp a chance arn’t the labour party full of lies ? BNP are the only party to put our own people first! not this mosque !

  7. NO Dave,

    Don’t give the bnp a chance, ok, i’ll give then a 10 second head start, then i’ll show then how i feel about their policies.

  8. The Archdeacon’s interpretation of the parable of the Good Samaritan would seem to be very much a 20th century interpretation. Doesn’t the term ‘Good’ Samaritan imply that other Samaritans were indeed ‘bad’. ‘Don’t judge individuals by their racial or geographical background’ is a fair summary of Jesus’s position, but he didn’t go as far as to suggest that ALL Samaritans would have crossed the road, did he? Or have I missed something? It’s certainly not a ‘clear example’ as the Ven Chris suggests.

  9. The BNP is the new C of E, which has been infested by liberals – as Burke said, the first liberal was the devil.
    Lichfield Cathedral doesn’t belong to Liley, he’s just passing through, it belongs to English people, the one’s who built it, and who will, God willing, one day take it back.

  10. Quite depressed by the amount of acceptance of the BNP as a outlet of genuine debate. These guys are simply racists who jump on any bandwagon to preach their hate. Yeah, maybe people genuinely don’t want a mosque by Minster Pool, I accept that our heritage is important.

    But if it would keep the racists out of Lichfield, I’d happily put a mosque dome on the top of the cathedral.

  11. Hi everybody, i am a muslim born in mauritius. In my country there are so many cultures but hindu religion is predominant, however, we have mosques, temples, churches, pagodas,… and there is proper co-existence, people see each other as mauritians first and then comes religious beliefs. I’ve lived there for 20years but i’ve never seen racism like here. Maybe that’s why radicals aim uk, because there’s not enough acceptance of other cultures.. These asians are so helpful to your community, you just have to visit those 1000s of care homes, may be someday, when these BNP leaders grow older, they’ll be looked after in care homes by asians. I am against illegal immigrants, but do not mix it with the millions of honest, law abiding and productive immigrants. Thanks

  12. Phil and Ziad S above suggest that immigrants bring economic benefits. A House of Lords committee did a nine month long investigation into immigration a year or two ago. Thos doing the investigation incuded two Professors of Economics and two former Chancellors of the Exchequer. Their conclusion was, to quote, that “net immigrantion brings no significant economic benefits”.

  13. Sorry Howard but –

    Capitalism attracts immigrants and also benefits the capitalist by having a flexible (excess) thus cheaper labour market. (do you really give any credibility to the house of lords? – after all, they haven’t closed our borders and they tend to be capitalist lords)
    I assume the term ‘net’ immigration is meaning to include refugees/asylum seekers from capitalisms warzones. (Warzone = surplus wealth dispenser)

    Immigration can be beneficial if the growth of jobs and housing matches immigration. More Surplus Wealth ! ! (hang on – some sort of catch 22 is appearing)
    However – with capitalisms clockwork like recessions – the negatives of immigration appear more visible than its benefits. (particularly to Daily Mail readers)

    I must remind you that capitalism has caused the problem – not immigration/immigrants.

    A skilled (even just basic labouring) adult worker appearing in an instant can be very beneficial to a society – especially with pensioners living longer nowadays.

  14. What exactly is Phil trying to get at when he says

    “I’d love to see some graphs showing the contributions of ‘natives’ compared to ‘immigrants’ to the British economy – I bet it’d be an eye opener for some of the people opposed to a mosque. ”

    Are you placing the immigrant above the native, flipping the BNP coin as though it represents some kind if opposition when it’s exactly the same thing – Draw the lines based on an identity?

    What exactly has the mosque got to do with immigration anyway? Are all Muslims immigrants, lots of them, a few of them? What possible difference can it make to anything?

    If we are debating immigration then why has that got to be a race issue, because the BNP say so? Who decided they draw the lines? Has immigration from the EU since 2004 not harmed the material conditions of people who were themselves immigrants before then by increasing supply in the “labour market” simple question of supply and demand. More supply = lower price and in the labour market price means wages.

    “contribution to the economy” means nothing without explaining the perspective that you look at it from. To a company needing staff a larger labour supply is good, they pay less – they would say it benefits the economy. If you’re looking for a job or negotiating a wage settlement it is bad – the economy has deteriorated for exactly the same reason.

    When the Lindsey refinery workers held their wildcat strikes this year did they represent a vanguard of BNP sympathy within the working class or were they working class people reacting to Total using one set of workers to undermine the position of another set?

    BNP logic based on identity is exactly the same as liberal logic based on identity and it simply doesn’t hold up.

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