A number of distinctive items have been stolen from St. Stephen's Church in Bournemouth, with police releasing a CCTV image of a suspect. The man was seen on the camera footage on June 9 at 9:30 AM. It was reported that he stole a silver sanctuary lamp, a decorative gold palm leaf and a statue of Our Lady of Walsingham. A private area of the church was also broken into and a number of items were damaged. The police have not arrested the man and are continuing their search.
Vandals targeted the Auld Kirk of Ayr in Blackfriars Walk on the evening of May 25. Grave stones were painted, rude imagery was drawn over stained glass windows and profanity was written on an iron gate. Historic stonework, as well as a welcome sign featuring a picture of King Charles III was vandalized with red spray paint. The incident is being investigated by Ayr Police.
On May 23rd, a ruling by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) in the UK banned Christian Joshua Sutcliffe from teaching altogether, after he failed to treat his pupils "with dignity and respect" by misgendering a transgender boy. This case is the first of its kind in the UK and has become international news. It goes back to 2017, when the former maths teacher at the Cherwell School in Oxford, said "well done girls" to a group of girls, where one was a transgender boy - and he later apologized. Sutcliffe was later also accused of inappropriately sharing his Christian beliefs.
A 21-year-old British man, Edward Little, has pleaded guilty to preparing to commit acts of terrorism in an attack against the evangelist Hatun Tash in 2022. Little was found carrying £5,000, with which he planned to buy a firearm to kill Hatun Tash at the Speaker's Corner, a place for public debates where she frequently debates and preaches. He refused the allegations at first, but on the May 19, 2023 he admitted to planning the murder back on September 23, 2022.
A teacher in Wales, Ben Dybowski, was encouraged to express his Christian beliefs at a seminar and was subsequently fired for "hate speech." The teacher was prompted to share his opinions during a mandatory training session organised by the charity Diverse Cymru to instruct teachers on "workforce diversity practice, unconscious bias and gender awareness." He later commented that: "We were told it was a safe space and encouraged to speak freely."
A Christian primary school teacher who questioned Stonewall and Mermaids' recommendations to support a "gender transition" of an 8-year-old student without providing any supporting medical data has lost her job and is the subject of numerous regulatory body inquiries. She is being supported by the organisation Christian Concern to contest against her dismissal due to discrimination based on her religion.
Organ pipes were stolen and the organ of the St John The Divine Church in Patching, England, was damaged on the night of the May 12 to 13, 2023. The theft is expected to cost thousands of pounds to repair or replace.
Glawdys Leger, 43, taught modern foreign languages at Bishop Justus Church of England School until May, 2022 when she was fired for refusing to teach her 7 and 8-year-old pupils about gender and sexual identities. The teacher was reported by a student and subsequently fired for "gross misconduct" after an investigation and disciplinary hearing. Shortly after, she received a letter from the Teaching Regulation Agency that allegedly her teaching conduct had been "contrary to fundamental British values in that it lacked tolerance to those with different beliefs." Leger, on the other hand, says that she "cannot, in good conscience, teach or say things I believe are contrary to my faith." Leger's hearing is due to commence in Coventry on October 9, 2023.
St. Michael's Church in Beccles was targeted by vandals who damaged stones and moved fences. Suffolk Police said the incident occurred at some point between April 17 and 22. Damage was caused to the stonework, including to the patio terrace slabs, and safety fences were moved that were in position to safeguard and protect an area on the ground where loose stone masonry may fall from the church. The police closed the case pending further investigative opportunities. No arrests were made and no suspects were identified.
Between April 17 and 22, the St Michael's Church in Beccles was vandalised. Perpetrators caused damage to the masonry, to the stonework, including to the patio terrace slabs, and safety fences were moved. The Suffolk police was informed and are looking for the perpetrators.
Tens of thousands of pounds worth of chalices and sacred items have been stolen from the Lady Saint Mary's Church in Wareham after thefts broke into the church and blew up the safe on April 14. Explosives were used for the break-in and at least 25 pieces of communion silver, including a 450-year-old Elizabethan chalice worth 30,000 pounds, were stolen. The police suspects this gang of thieves has been targeting churches across the UK.
Over three nights on April 12, 13, and 14, in Croydon, thirty gravestones have been destroyed with a sledgehammer - some graves were dating back 500 years, at a Grade I listed church. «The church is appealing for witnesses along with police who are trying to find out who took a sledgehammer to the graves. »
On the night of March 19th, burglars stole valuable silver items in a church from a rural parish in East Devon in Sidmouth. The police are looking for witnesses. On Twitter, pictures show that the objects were chalices, host holders and other tools for the celebration of Mass.
A new code of practice on Non-Crime Hate Incidents (NCHI) introduced to UK Parliament in March clarifyies that simply causing offence is not enough to justify the police including someone's personal information in an NCHI. This comes in opposition to previous NCHI measures that unlawfully interfered with free speech. For example when the Police logged the personal details of a person in a NCHI record after receiving a complaint about a ‘transphobic’ tweet. This user, Harry Miller, appealed and won the case.
On March 10, large amount of lead was taken from the roof of St. Nicolas' Church in Witham. Shortly after 1 AM the police were called to the church. It was reported that three men were seen removing the lead and quickly fled the area. The lead had been removed from the roof but was left behind at the scene. The crime resulted in a large amount of damage caused to the interior of the church because of overnight rainwater.
As reported by The Telegraph and the Christian Institute, Girlguiding, the UK's national guiding organisation for girls, has come under pressure and criticism after it published a blog post in which the organization argued that in order to make some of its traditional songs "inclusive for everyone," they need be changed to remove "references that have been hurtful to people." Using as an example a song in which references to God were removed.
Unkown offenders entered All Saints Church in Wragby and stole eight brass handheld bells, worth around £8,000 in total. The theft occurred between March 1 and March 8. The police are investigating the situation.
On March 7, the House of Commons voted to comprehensively introduce buffer zones around abortion clinics to the Public Order Bill for the final time. The clause to the bill was approved by a majority of 299 MPs in favor to 116 against. Now that the Public Order Bill is set to become law, any form of "influence" around abortion clinics will be criminalised, including silent prayer or consensual conversations, de facto making "thought crime" a reality in the UK. Experts have commented that while harassment and intimidation are already illegal, this law would be a serious attack on freedom of speech and freedom of thought.
In early March the lead from the roof of St. Michaels Church in Bath was stolen. This is the latest of a series of lead thefts since December 2022. Due to leaking roofs as a consequence of the theft, services were interrupted. Police has started an investigation.
Burglars have stolen silverware dating from the 18th century from St. Margaret's Church in Hawes, North Yorkshire. Rev. Dave Clark said the church was broken into in the early hours of March 1. The church's oak door was damaged and silverware was stolen. Rev. Clark said: "An Oak door from the original construction and surrounding stonework were damaged and now need replacing, but more upsetting is that a significant quantity of silverware with particular historic attachment to Hawes was stolen." The police investigated the scene, including searching for prints and evidence.