Havering Council and Religious Diversity

Romford Town ward has been reconfigured into two: St Alban’s and St Edward’s. The question is why were they given names linked to the Church of England, which is a minority sect within the Christian community? Although 65% of British people say they’re Christian, overwhelmingly they’re semi-detached.

The Church of England isn’t pre-eminent in Havering but the Council has named three wards after their churches. Historical importance can justify St Andrew’s and St Edward’s but St Alban’s?3 It’s devoid of stellar historical qualities and is anonymous.

The Council’s Diversity Policy aims at creating harmonious communities. Objective three of the policy document says they are Promoting Community Relations, diversity and Civic Pride.4 If the Council is determined to celebrate Faith in their ward names, why not chose a Roman Catholic church who have the largest congregations. Or a Baptist church or maybe, a Methodist? There’s also a non-Christian synagogue in the ward. The Council has shown a tragic lack of imagination and commitment to religious diversity.

It’s a moot point whether a secular Council should ostentatiously celebrate Faith. Most councillors are, statistically, non-believers or non-communicant Christians, which deepens the puzzle.

Which Back to the Future Conservative powered this decision through?

Notes

1 Romford Town Demographics (Havering, England) (localstats.co.uk)

2 Faith Survey | Christianity in the UK

3 The Parish of St. Alban Protomartyr – A Church Near You This church community is a minority sect being Anglo-Catholic.

4 2. 2019 – 20 Equalities Champion Annual reportv2.pdf (havering.gov.uk)

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