13 petitions

Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to The Right Reverend Kate Wilmot, Administrator of the Diocese of Perth and the Diocesan Council

Do Not Silence Father Chris Bedding

Father Chris Bedding is a priest, an activist, and a comedian. In all three of these roles, he is a positive social influence. His parish has blossomed into a supportive, living community, and his work for the rights of refugees and LGTBQI people is as commendable as it is tireless. He has, however, currently been removed from his parish due to a single complaint about his social media usage, and the perceived content of his onstage performances. He has been denied the right of reply, and treated poorly. It is a shabby state of affairs that this excellent priest is being censored for creating innovative art. It is also a shameful waste of the limited time and resources available to a Church department principally set up to assist survivors of sexual abuse. As a comedian, Father Chris is funny, perceptive, creative, thoughtful – and through Pirate Church, a great provider of insight into the Christian faith, as well as the amusing day-to-day minutiae of parish life. Pirate Church has taken elements of the Anglican Church to audiences that would never have encountered its theology or practice, and made both accessible and interesting. It is more amusing than The Pearly Gates comic strip that used to run in the Anglican Messenger; more insightful than The Vicar of Dibley and unlike Rowan Atkinson’s procession of incompetent clergymen, Father Chris’s performances are not rooted in the stumbling, bumbling “good evening, Vicar” of English farce. Father Chris is a man whose onstage work reflects the living, breathing modern Church. It is unique, and is arguably the best contemporary representation of modern Christianity to be seen on any stage. (Jesus Christ Superstar, is, after all, looking a little creaky.) As members of the Arts community, and people of diverse faith, sexuality and gender, we are honoured to have him as a peer. We maintain that Father Chris has been removed from his parish as part of a secretive, misguided and cruel process, and we petition the Administrator and the Diocesan Council to reinstate him immediately. Art is subjective, but to see such a vital community voice struck down over an interpretation of art is sickening.

John Robertson
2,552 supporters
Update posted 4 months ago

Petition to BBC

Don't paint our island in a negative light - cancel "The Jews of Canvey Island"

The BBC have announced that they will be broadcasting a documentary about the Chasidic Jewish community that has recently set up on Canvey Island. It promises to explore the new Jewish community, and the reactions of local residents.  We believe that the BBC will not present our island in a positive way. We see the BBC picking this as one of their five "Faith and ethical issues" for their series, because the BBC can misrepresent the story and make our community look bad. The BBC have found a non-issue, and they have every reason to make a controversial story out of it.  We can cover this story in two minutes flat - some Jewish people have moved to Canvey, they've got their own community, there's been no violence or hate speech or marginalisation because the people of Canvey aren't racist bigots. In fact, this exact story was already covered by the Guardian last year.  So what does the BBC plan to fill the remaining 38 minutes of their documentary with? Perhaps a bunch of interviews with councillors jostling for screen time on the telly? Or some cherry-picked, out of context quotes from local residents? Or a two hour walk through the high street looking for someone who is unprepared to appear on TV, who will then get a 20 minute interview, mixed in with some clips of the boarded up Admiral Jellicoe pub?  Rest assured, this documentary will not paint Canvey in a positive light. As we are learning to adapt to the presence of a Chasidic Jewish community, the last thing we need is the BBC hunting around for a story that doesn't exist and bringing negative press coverage to our island. So how about the BBC shelves a documentary that will bring nothing but resentment and leave nothing but a sour taste for the residents of Canvey Island? 

Jack Duffield
1,832 supporters