A row has broken out between the church and the British National Party in Heanor after a councillor branded the teachings of the Bible "twisted and evil" in his internet blog.
Cllr Lewis Allsebrook, BNP member for Heanor West on Amber Valley Borough Council, was responding in his 'Amber Valley Does Matter' blog to comments made by the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, who said that the church must watch verycarefully for any potential BNP gains during the financial crisis.
In reply, Rev Dan Pattimore, of St Lawrence's Church, in Heanor, accused Cllr Allsebrook of lacking even the most basic knowledge of Christian beliefs. Speaking to the Ripley and Heanor News, Cllr Allsebrook said: "The church doesn't welcome us. We still believe in the teachings of the Bible, but we don't believe in their interpretation of it at the moment so we are not welcome. I stand by what I said in my blog and think it's fair comment."
The blog said: "The Archbishop's rants come only weeks after the Church of England decided to specifically exclude the BNP from its flock. Personally I'm not bothered, the CoE teachings of the Bible are normally twisted and evil. For a long time I've thought the way the church has turned it's back on wholesome family values in favour of sick, perverted, PC appeasement is immoral. As far as I'm concerned every BNP member I've met has far higher morals than any Church of England Minister."
He also expressed support for Rev Robert West who has in the past stated that 'God divided nations for their own good and every race needed its space'. Rev West plans to stand in the European elections for the BNP in the East Midlands.
In a letter to the Ripley and Heanor News, Rev Pattimore said: "I for one am very pleased that the true colours of our BNP representatives are at last being shown. Why does he issue this tirade of abuse against the many thousands of ministers in the Church of England and all of those church members who tirelessly give sacrificially to the communities in which they live? I certainly don't remember him attending a service I have conducted.
"Unfortunately for both Mr Allsebrook and his new guru, Rev Robert West, even the most basic knowledge of the message of Jesus Christ shows that Christianity is about inclusivity and service of all, not the segregation of people into different ethnic groups."
Ripley and Heanor News