Incense in worship not caught by Psychoactive Substances Bill

An earlier post noted the potential criminalisation of the liturgical use of incense, as identified by Lord Howarth of Newport (Lab) during the report stage in the House of Lords of the Psychoactive Substances Bill. We updated the story here. In the course of the day-job I sent a memorandum on behalf of the Churches’ Legislation Advisory Service to the Commons Home Affairs Committee, which was about to consider the Bill, asking the Committee to see clarification on the point. The Association of English Cathedrals did the same.

The Minister of State for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Victims, Mike Penning, has now replied, assuring us that it is not the Government’s intention to criminalise the use of incense in worship. Continue reading