It is always good to see some positive publicity about the church in York generally, but especially after the gaff by Tim Jones. Our article was in the same edition of the York Press as the article about Tim’s comments. “My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift,” he said. See the Telegraph article for more info.
I know Tim and assume he meant well but seeing the coverage and the comments, it has not shown Christian leaders or the Church of England vicars in a good light. He suggested they the needy should only shoplift from the large chains. The problem is, how does a shoplifter gauge the financial strength of a chain? Are they qualified to do so? The Woolworth chain looked in good health until it suddenly collapsed. One of those who commented on this suggested that the Church of England is a large chain so they would be a good choice. Sadly they already are, with the lead being stripped of many church roofs and destruction following the subsequent flooding.
How the sermon made the paper seems odd to me. I think Tim must have sent his sermon to them, as they have published it in full.
In his defence, Tim worked in the USA until fairly recently so he may not be up to speed about the range of services available in York. I know some Christians are employed in these same agencies and work very hard to provide help to those in need including ex-offenders, the homeless, etc.
York was awarded beacon status for the quality of services provided. See the following links for more info. I will have to mention it to him next time I see him.