THE Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, paid tribute to the work of Christians in the capital after visiting St Peter’s, Brockley, in south-east London, on Easter Day.
Mr Khan described the Easter Day service at St Peter’s as “a wonderful experience”.
“The church members gave me an incredibly warm welcome, and the spirit of celebration — despite another Lent and Easter spent under Covid restrictions — was infectious,” he said.
“Throughout this pandemic, and for centuries before, Christians inspired by Jesus’s example have sacrificed their time and resources to help those in need in our city. Christian Londoners help run foodbanks, provide debt-relief, employment support, and many other services.
“As a Londoner and as a person of faith, I’m so grateful for your selfless service, your hospitality, your generosity, and your prayers.”
Writing on the Church Times website this week, the Priest-in-Charge of St Peter’s, the Revd Ben Jones, says: “He spoke about the Christian call to love our neighbour and how, for many of us, this past year has been an opportunity to choose not to walk on the other side of the road. He thanked Christians all over London for the way in which they have come together to practise what they preach, and offer spiritual and practical support for our communities.”
The Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, visited Jesus House for All the Nations, a black-majority Pentecostal church in north London, on Good Friday. In a video posted on social media, Sir Keir said: “From rolling out the vaccine to running the local foodbank, Jesus House, like many other churches across the UK, has played a crucial role in meeting the needs of the community.”
LGBT members of the Labour Party wrote to Sir Keir to express alarm at the visit, however, because of the church’s stance on same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.
Sir Keir posted on Twitter on Monday evening: “I completely disagree with Jesus House’s beliefs on LGBT+ rights, which I was not aware of before my visit. I apologise for the hurt my visit caused and have taken down the video. It was a mistake and I accept that.”
In an Easter video message, the Prime Minister said: “If there’s one thing British Christians have shown us this year, it’s that Jesus Christ is the way and the truth and the life, not just today but every day. His teachings and the message of his death and resurrection permeate through every aspect of daily life.”