Flatulence: BNP Vicar at Barton in the Beans Baptist Church

Seismic Shock draws attention to a pro-BNP blog which reports that the BNP’s “Rev Robert West” has given a sermon at the historic Baptist chapel in the Leicestershire village of Barton in the Beans:

The congregation, larger than is usual, joined in with the hymns and prayers and listened intently to Rev. West’s readings from the Old Testament – Malachi 3:1, and Isaiah 40:1-8, and from the New Testament: St. Mark’s Gospel,1:1-11, and his inspiring sermon which followed. He opened by explaining that this was a Gospel Church.

Malachi 3:1 begins with “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me”; maybe West sees himself as John the Baptist to Nick Griffin’s messiah.

West, as I’ve blogged in the past, runs a British National Party front-group called the Christian Council of Britain; he rails against “multi-racial” society, and he claims that the story of the Tower of Babel is actually about God’s wrath against humans for failing to “spread out”; obviously a polite way of saying that God objected to race-mixing. He is ordained in an obscure “Apostolic Church” denomination, although an established group with this name disavows any knowledge of him. The pro-BNP blog – Leicestershire Community Voice – tells us that “He was Ordained nearly 30 years ago by the Episcopic Church”, a botched way of saying he has an “Episcopal” background of some kind. In 2007 West brought American anti-gay fanatic Paul Cameron to the UK. Seismic Shock also notes that West is standing for election for the BNP in the next European election.

So, why was West allowed into the pulpit at Barton Chapel? Although the building is historic, I’ve been unable to find any details about the current congregation or minister, if there is is one. The chapel is, though, listed as being under the control of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches, under the name of “Barton Fabis Baptist Church” – “Fabis” being Latin for “Beans”. Various tourist pamphlets on-line tell us of a museum open at the site on Fridays and Saturdays, but rather curiously it appears to be closed on Sundays. Might that explain why a congregation “larger than usual” turned out for a BNP harangue? Alas, while Leicestershire Community Voice gives us some pictures of West pontificating, there are no views of his enraptured disciples.

UPDATELeicestershire Community Voice has since removed identifying details that identify the location of West’s sermon, but I’ve dug up some clues as to why and how this event occurred.