Sect tries to buy a church

The Manchester Jewish Representative Council has protested against the proposed sale of a local church to the breakaway Catholic sect to which Holocaust-denying Bishop Richard Williamson belongs.

Council president Barbara Goldstone said allowing the Society for Saint Pius X (SSPX) to buy St George’s, a disused Anglican church in Gorton, would “only destroy the religious harmony in the city of which we are very proud”.

In a letter to the Church of England’s Commissioners, she described SSPX as an “extreme organisation” whose beliefs included “espousal of the charge of deicide levelled at contemporary Jews”.

The Reverend Steve Williams, chairman of the Manchester branch of the Council of Christians and Jews, is also objecting to the sale, saying that the branch was “very concerned at the underlying antisemitic tone” on publications and websites linked to SSPX.

The Church of England’s Manchester diocese said that objections to the sale should be submitted by the end of the month and would be forwarded to the Bishop of Manchester, the Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch.

Bishop McCulloch, the national chairman of the CCJ, is reported to be unhappy at the proposed sale.

According to the website of the Anti-Defamation League in the USA, SSPX is “mired in antisemitism.”

No-one was available for comment from SSPX.

    Last updated: 5:10pm, July 22 2009