WANSTEAD: Church groups suspended from school over homophobic leaflet (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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WANSTEAD: Church groups suspended from school over homophobic leaflet
THREE church groups have been suspended from preaching at a secondary school after a leaflet containing homophobic scripture was delivered to homes in Walthamstow.
The anonymous leaflet, urging people to come to Wanstead High School in Redbridge Lane West on Sundays at 11am, quotes a version of a line of scripture from Corinthians 6:9 which refers to ‘homosexual offenders’.
Wanstead High lets out its premises to a number of local community organisations through a specialist lettings agency called Schools Plus.
Head teacher Chris van Bussel was unaware of the leaflet and was shocked when the Guardian showed it to him.
He said: “We have made it quite clear to Schools Plus in our contract that any groups showing any types of racist or homophobic attitudes should not be permitted in the school.
“That includes church groups.”
Mr van Bussel fired off an angry email to Schools Plus, demanding an explanation for the leaflet.
Their spokesman, James Woods, said: “Such literature is clearly not acceptable.
“We have contacted all three groups who use the school, and they have all denied any knowledge.
“We think it is possible the leaflet is being sent out by a rogue parishioner.
“But while we investigate the matter, all three groups will be suspended from using the school.”
Neither Mr Woods or Mr van Bussel were prepared to name the organisations involved.
But, the Guardian has discovered that one of the groups which rents out the premises is the East London International Church of Christ.
Their spokesman Paul Rowden said: “We preach The Bible, but we would quote this scripture differently.
"It is ill advised to put that sort of thing on a leaflet and we would certainly never do it.”
Simon Young, 36, of Leucha Road in Walthamstow, was shocked after a copy of the leaflet was posted through his door.
Mr Young, who is the deputy editor of heavy metal magazine Kerrang, said: “I am an atheist but I have no problem with people observing their own faith.
“But the language of this leaflet seems quite hateful to me and I was shocked to see the name of a school on it.
“People who preach this sort of thing shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a school.”
The King James version of Corinthians 6:9 - 6:10 reads: "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."
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