No cheque for Toxteth groups — no support for rioters
by Christopher Rails ARCHBISHOP Worlock of Liverpool reacted strongly last week to criticisms by Mr James Jardine. chairman of the Police Federation.
In an address to the Metropolitan Police Federation on Thursday of last week, Mr Jardine claimed that Archbishop Worlock and his Anglican counterpart, Bishop David Sheppard had given too much sympathy to rioters, and little, if any to their victims.
Could we hear "a little bit less about the poor, downtrodden, underpaid. unemployed youth." and "a little bit more about the other citizens of the inner city the -old people for instance. and the others who are at risk from the muggers. from the sneak thieves and the burglars, said Mr Jardine. "These are the people the police are there to protect.
"I don't hear much about the Liverpool 8 defence committee for old people or small shopkeepers or for householders" he continued. "I don't hear much about their plight from the Bishop of Liverpool or the Archbishop of the Catholic community. I don't feel inclined to listen to leading churchmen who are rushing to sign cheques for the supporters of the mob but too busy blaming the police even to spare a few minutes to visit wounded policemen in hospital."
In a strongly-worded reply, Archbishop Worlock said: "If Mr Jardine lived in Liverpool he
might know how frequently David Sheppard and I have spoken on behalf of all old people and for all the disadvantaged. He might know• that neither the bishop nor I signed any cheque to any group in Toxteth. He might even knowthat it was at the request of the Chief Constable that I took on the chair at the Police and community meeting convened to ease the tensions in Liverpool 8."
Dr Sheppard commented: "To indulge in a scrap at this point is not helpful. We deeply regret that Mr Jardine has indulged in this kind of unfounded recrimination".
On Monday of this week, the Rev Philip Morgan, general secretary of the British Council of Churches said the controversial grant of £500 to the Liverpool 8 Defence Committee was not preceded by adequate consultation with local church leaders.
Staff members of the council had given authority for the grant in the wake of the Toxteth riots. Mr Morgan said that the BCC executive had since begun a review of the procedures and criteria for such grants.
• Archbishop Worlock unveiled a poster on Monday in the Lodge Lane . district of Liverpool. drawing attention to the housing crisis.
The action was taken in support of a week of protest organised by the National Federation of Housing Associations against threatened cuts in the Government's assistance to housing.
The same day, the President of the Methodist Conference, Dr John Newton. carried out a similar action. He unveiled a giant board in Smyrna Street, Salford, naming the surrounding Weaste and Seedley district as an area of housing crisis.
Addressing local residents and housing workers. Dr Newton, who is Chairman of the West London Methodist Housing Association, said: "John Wesley's injunction to his followers was to go not only to those in need but to those in most need. Today that group clearly includes those without homes or in inadequate housing-.
Mr John Atkinson, Director of the Manchester Methodist Housing Association said the protest was an attempt to impress upon the Government the "loss of hope" which would result from the effects of reduced housing and in poor areas.