St Mary’s Church: statement
This is in relation to allegations in today’s (10.12.15) Daily Mail that a meeting to recruit for ISIS was held in its church hall in Summer of 2015.
“St Marys Church in Luton have no knowledge of any meeting to recruit for ISIS alleged to have been held in its church hall, or the case that is currently in process against four Luton men who appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court yesterday. Bedfordshire Police have confirmed that St Marys was not the church or church hall allegedly named in court.
“Our bookings over the summer months confirm that no meeting was held here that fits the descriptions in the media this morning. In the period of time involved we are confident that we knew all our hirers. Like all churches we let our church hall to members of the public for entertainment and some meetings but are careful about who we let to. Our sympathies go to whoever unknowingly hosted the meeting. If anyone was concealing their true purpose, however, any community facility might be used in such a way. This allegation underlines the need for vigilance and for people to know those in their communities, not mistrust and suspect them.
“St Marys Church seeks to challenge and defeat the politics of extremism and hate within Luton, building resilience against the politics of hate and fear. Over the last few years we have been very active in Luton working for peace and good relations between people of different faiths and backgrounds. Our workers have won various awards for our work which is ongoing. We welcome all in the Luton community to St Mary’s, to worship, to our magnificent church building and to use our facilities for social and community purposes.”