Places of Worship: Security Funding

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:52 pm on 7th May 2019.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield 4:52 pm, 7th May 2019

I listened carefully to what the Home Secretary said. I am a former parliamentary church warden at St Margaret’s and a lay canon at Wakefield cathedral, and of course I know from recent reports that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world at the moment. I spoke to fellow worshippers at my church on Sunday. They were very concerned about security of religion and security of churches and meetings. Does the Secretary of State agree that we have a tradition of open churches and open mosques, with people wandering in and perhaps saying quiet prayers during the day, and open access? Can we make sure we get the balance right? When there was terrorism that pinpointed aircraft, there was an immediate reaction, and a great deal of money flowed into security and protection. I do not see the urgency in the Home Secretary’s message to the House today that there is a real, imminent threat to religious worship in this country.