Highlights of the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations…
… included not referring to Platty Jubes, not coming in early on the Vivats in I Was Glad (unlike at its first performance at the 1902 Coronation), not reading through the 133 pages of instructions on the construction and use of Jubilee beacons and, for some, singing Long live our noble Duke as the second line of the Lancashire version of the National Anthem. Wealands Bell@WealandsBell tweeted:
“Whoever thinks that the PM’s reading was chosen specially for him doesn’t understand the tectonic power of set lections chosen well in advance of an occasion, guided by precedent and (here’s the rub) all the more eloquent because of the unpredictable pairing of reader and read.”
The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) Regulations 2020 expired at midnight on 31 May.
Cytûn’s COVID-19 page has been updated to reflect the new situation, with links to continuing Welsh Government guidance and to other sources of advice and information and some information particularly pertinent to places of worship. It will continue to be updated periodically as circumstances require. [With thanks to Gethin Rhys.]
Unfair dismissal and religion
In August 2021, we noted the case of Mr K Ferguson v Kintail Trustees Ltd & Anor  ET 4103321/2020, in which it was held that the claimant, the Director and Chief Executive of Kintail Trustees, a limited company that operates as the corporate trustee of the Robertson Trust charity, had been unfairly dismissed. By a majority, it also held that he had been directly discriminated against under the provisions of s.13 Equality Act 2010 in relation to the dismissal itself. On 19 May, he was awarded compensation of over £40,000.
…but only virtually (and briefly). Varsity, the independent newspaper for the University of Cambridge reported that the video, entitled “Come to the Cambridge Undergraduate Open Days 2022!” showed a tour of Jesus College; however, the footage on entering the chapel depicted a blank wall where the Rustat memorial would have been. The video was published on the official University Facebook page on the afternoon of 30 May but was taken down at 21:30. A University spokesperson told Varsity: “A video was posted in error on our social media channels and we have taken it down while we investigate further.”
The London Borough of Lambeth has recently published the results of a two-month public consultation on “statues, memorials and street names with associations with the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and colonialism”. Although not directly concerned with “law and religion”, the consultation used a rudimentary methodology of assessment, included a number of churches with links to the slave trade and provided local opinion on the action which should be taken.
The subjects for consultation were developed in a report, Statues and Memorials, published in November 2020, which applied a “traffic light” classification to the degree of linkage to the slave trade. Those with a “green” linkage included Capt. William Bligh, subsequently an admiral and Governor of New South Wales, who transported breadfruit from the Pacific to the Caribbean, where it became a staple food for those labouring on slave plantations. William Hewer was given an “amber” linkage on account of his role as a private trader, investor and governor of the East India Company. Classified as “red” were George and Elizabeth Hibbert, on account of their role as plantation owners.
The Consultation sought views under the five general headings: one for statues; street names; street names with “uncertain” links; and two dedicated sections relating to two prominent local personages, Sir Henry Tulse and Richard Henry Vassall-Fox. Under these headings were tombs, plaques, and memorials at St Mary’s Churchyard, Lambeth Rd, St Paul’s Church, Clapham and St Leonard’s Church, Streatham.
The Campaign group Save our Statues analysed the raw data from the consultation and concluded “[i]n every category, an overwhelming majority supports the status quo. Only 17% want street names changed and a mere 6% want statues removed. Far more say ‘do nothing’ than support plaques”. Lambeth Borough has yet to indicate what action is to be taken, although the statues and memorials within churches and churchyards will be subject to the faculty jurisdiction.
L&RUK most-read posts
A list of the most-read posts in May 2022 has now been added to the previous monthly summaries in the blog’s Index. In common with the April statistics, although the “All time” top-ten list remains unchanged, those for the previous week and for three last months include a significant number of recent posts; in particular, half of the “7 Days” entries are from last week.
Incidentally, the Jubilee long weekend saw a surprising drop in the number of spam comments picked up by Akismet. Were the porn-bots observing the bank holidays?
- Historic Religious Buildings Alliance (HRBA): June e-letter.
- Russell Sandberg: Religious Worship in Schools in Wales.
- Chris Syder, Lexology: Is the United Nations’ International Labour Organisation about to force the UK government to change its established equality laws?: the ILO’s Committee of Experts has asked the UK Government to provide concrete examples of how cases alleging discrimination based on “caste” are dealt with by UK courts and tribunals.
In that rather esoteric common law jurisdiction known as the United States of America, the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the lower court’s decision that the Universal Life Church has standing to pursue its challenge to a Tennessee law prohibiting persons who have been ordained online from solemnizing marriages: Universal Life Church Monastery Storehouse v Nabors (6th Cir, May 27, 2022). [With thanks to Howard Friedman.]
The 6th Circuit must know it’s pretty much a spoof, but…
The Diocese of Leeds tweeted its congratulations on the naming of Bradford as UK City of Culture 2025, accompanied by a photograph of the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Norwich. As with the University of Cambridge promotional video, the tweet was quickly removed once the error was pointed out. Elsewhere on the Twittersphere, many wrongly assumed that the conferment of new city status on eight towns to mark the Platinum Jubilee would result in the creation of additional cathedrals in the four towns currently without one.