Tories line up to sign Church's petition
Monday 19 October 1992
Dore, a silvan-and-Saab village beneath the moors, forms part of Sheffield Hallam, one of the three most middle-class constituencies in Britain and the only Tory seat in the South Yorkshire coalfield. Worshippers at Christ Church yesterday had their chance to sign the petition drawn up by the Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Rev David Lunn, expressing 'concern and distress' following the decision to make 10,000 local miners redundant.
The early shift, 8am Holy Communion, voted 80 per cent in favour of the petition and, throughout the morning, congregations had no hesitation in adding their names.
The Rev David Williams urged support for the miners. 'Socially, politically and economically there seem enormous grounds for keeping the pits open,' Mr Williams said. 'It seems an unjust decision not made objectively.'
The MP, Irvine Patnick, who may have taken comfort from South Yorkshire's sabbatarianism - the lowest in Europe - has been shaken by the fury of local Conservative business opinion.
Mr Patnick said he was aware of the depth of feeling but constituents should suspend judgement until the Government announced its package of measures to help the coalfields.
The Rev Jo Honour, a visiting preacher from the depressed east end of Sheffield, said: 'The loss of status and income is so detrimental to unemployed people's self-esteem that being slotted on to a scheme is not going to be enough.' John Gummer, the Minister of Agriculture, hit back at church leaders who accused the Government of 'lack of moral vision' over the pit closures. Mr Gummer, a member of the General Synod of the Church of England, said on BBC Radio 4's Sunday programme that failure to shut the pits would mean higher electricity prices and even more redundancies.
On the same programme the Bishop of Sheffield called on the Church Commissioners to use their position as large shareholders in the electricity generators to oppose the policy, and the Most Rev John Habgood, Archbishop of York, called on the Government to 'think again'.
Dr Habgood also told a congregation at Sheffield Cathedral yesterday: 'The removal of jobs within a day or two of the decision being made, without consultation, without adequate explanation, without any real evidence that the long-term implications have been thought through, strips those affected by it of their dignity and takes away the possibility of meaningful response.'
- 1 Liam Gallagher brands Kanye West 'utter s**t' during BRIT Awards performance
- 2 Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
- 3 People who sleep more than eight hours are more likely to have a stroke, research shows
- 4 Kanye West climbs on table at Nando's to crowd chants of 'Yeezus' before Brit Awards 2015 performance of 'All Day'
- 5 New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...
£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...