New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
News >

Essex Bishops stand by travellers

by Ed Beavan

Click to enlarge

Dale Farm travellers' site in Essex PA

Dale Farm travellers' site in Essex PA

THE Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, believes that the planned eviction of travellers from a farm near Basildon will create “havoc and chaos” for the 90 families involved.

Bishop Cottrell and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Brentwood, the Rt Revd Thomas McMahon, visited the site at Dale Farm, in Crays Hill, on Tuesday. At midnight on Wednes­day, Basildon Council was due to start removing the travellers who have built illegally on part of the site.

Bishop Cottrell called for a reprieve for members of the “beleaguered community” on the former scrapyard. “By the letter of the law they shouldn’t have built there, but there are pregnant women, elderly people, and frightened children who will be moved on.

“What would be decent and humane would be to find a permanent solution, but they have nowhere to go. Common sense would be for the council to authorise the site.”

The Bishop said: “They do want to make a settled and established home there, and many of the children attend the local primary school. If they are moved on, it hasn’t solved anything. It will create havoc and chaos for them, wherever they end up.”

The Vicar of Great Burstead, the Revd Stanley Swift, in whose parish the site falls, said on Wedneday that the situation was “desper­ate”. “The people there feel very stressed and threatened. They are good Christian people and have good family values. There have been rights and wrongs on both sides, but I think it’s inexcusable for the council to do this.”

Basildon Council and the Department for Communities and Local Government have maintained that the evictions are legal.

Should church land be used to create sites for travellers?

Vote here

Job of the week

Priest in Charge

Wales

Esgobeath Bangor The Diocese of Bangor Eglwys sy'n Dysgu A Learning Church The Bishop of Bangor wishes to appoint a Priest in Charge of Conwy & Gyffin and Ministry Area Leader Designate Th...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

Counting the cost

Counting the cost

Huw Spanner hears tips for people who are interested in banking, investing, and saving more ethically, but who are unsure where to start  Subscribe to read more

Question of the week
Should the UK take in more refugees fleeing Islamic State's terrorists?

To prevent multiple voting, we now ask readers to be logged in. This is free, quick and easy, honestly. Click here to login or register

Top comment

Looking for new funds? Pass the ice-bucket

As charities seek to attract a new generation of donors, they are having to find more targeted methods, reports Nick Jowett  Subscribe to read more

Mon 20 Oct 14 @ 13:14
RT @idleracademyThis Thursday in London: @julesevans77 lectures on the great English mystic, Thomas Traherne http://t.co/3km9xb3CK1 http://t.co/LxmxICSBQl

Mon 20 Oct 14 @ 10:30
Are you a Christian aged 35 or under? Fill in this survey for @EAUKnews! http://t.co/s1skKM9lAG