I’m still glowing after last night’s Minster Carols – what a great team – so many people working together to create an event so moving and relevant. I can honestly say it ignited the spirit of Christmas in me for the first time this year. The sheer enormity of it all – God being born on earth to be our Saviour – is truly overwhelming. The impact of the Riding Lights theatre, the simplicity of Alyson’s preaching, the music from the choir and the slick work of the technical team all played out in that magnificent building – stunning. Not to mention all the stewards, welcomers, fetchers and carriers, pray-ers and all the rest of the people behind the scenes. Thanks St Mike’s for being a great church. Honoured to be part of it all.
Mystery surrounds the partial collapse of a shop front in York. Bricks from the bay window above the Phoenix Restaurant in Clarence Street fell into the street early this morning causing chaos at a busy junction in the city centre.
Father Jones said some people had little option but to turn to crime
A priest from North Yorkshire has advised his congregation to shoplift if they find themselves in hard times.
Father Tim Jones, the parish priest of St Lawrence and St Hilda in York, said people should steal from big chains rather than small businesses.
He said society’s attitude to those in need “leaves some people little option but crime”.
However the Archdeacon of York said: “The Church of England does not advise anyone to shoplift”.
North Yorkshire Police described the sermon as “highly irresponsible”.
A force spokesman said despite people getting in difficult situations “shoplifting or committing other crimes should never be the solution”.
“To do this would make the downward spiral even more rapid, both on an individual basis and on society as a whole,” he said.
I would ask that they do not steal from small, family businesses, but from national businesses, knowing that the costs are ultimately passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher pricesFather Tim Jones
Speaking to his congregation on Sunday, Father Jones said: “My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift.
“I do not offer such advice because I think that stealing is a good thing, or because I think it is harmless, for it is neither.
“I would ask that they do not steal from small, family businesses, but from national businesses, knowing that the costs are ultimately passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher prices.
“When people are released from prison, or find themselves suddenly without work or family support, then to leave them for weeks and weeks with inadequate or clumsy social support is monumental, catastrophic folly.
“We create a situation which leaves some people little option but crime.”
Speaking later on BBC Radio York, Father Jones said his intention had not been to rally people to shoplifting, but to encourage people to give more to charity to avoid those in need from becoming so desperate.
“If one has exhausted every legal opportunity to get money and you’re still in a desperate situation it is a better moral thing to do to take absolutely no more than you need for no longer than you need,” he said.
However the Archdeacon of York, the Venerable Richard Seed, said: “Father Tim Jones is raising important issues about the difficulties people face when benefits are not forthcoming, but shoplifting is not the way to overcome these difficulties.”
Father Jones made the news in May 2008 when he made a protest about Playboy branded stationery being aimed at children. He went into a local stationers and threw the Playboy merchandise on the floor.
Sadly this well intentioned shock tactic can only backfire … although I admit to similar thinking recently. I was in Coney Street when I saw swarms of police officers apprehending shoplifters outside the ‘big shops’ in town. Couldn’t they have been better deployed protecting the homes of the citizens of York rather than the business interests of the large commercial chains. The little they lose through shoplifting is tiny in proportion to the loss of personal belongings caused by burglars.
Matt Seymour’s MORE RAW presents Alvin Purple + The Jaw-Line Of Julianne Moore + Overreact + Cavalier21 Jan 2010Doors open: 7:30pmMin age: 14+Location: The Duchess
Deep in the bowels of BBC Radio York, there’s been rumblings for many years. Great bands, stunning live sessions and an ethic of getting some, frankly, bloody great music out there. That’s all well and good, but it ain’t live – and the penny has dropped in Bootham Towers courtesy Mr Matt Seymour, music champ, prolific Twitterer and man of enthusiastically eclectic taste. From Cavalier’s transatlantic commercial balladry to Overreact’s angular indie-punk clatter inspired by Tokyo Police Club. From Julianne Moore’s Polyphonic Spree with synths to the jazz/soul/trip-hop of Alvin Purple; a terrific night is in store and all recorded for posterity and future broadcast.
Please note you must be 14 or over to gain admittance – read our ID policy.
Such hyperbole – but no less than any other gig blurb at this fine venue
Brief Encounters at the NRM – I’ll be taking my grandson to see this at the weekend.