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See also


1a. Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner: Complaint
1b. Same content as (1) but in single column
1c. Alan Billings: Ichtheology, the Billingsgate Challenge
1d. Police and Ethics Panels
1e. S. Yorks Police: IOPC
1f. S. Yorks Police, PCC, Panels 
1g. Alan Billings: 'Hate Crime' 
1h. Capability in education and policing


This page and the pages listed above will be revised to exclude duplicated material and to achieve other benefits

2. Christian religion: criticism
3. Arise! Church Guide
4. Abuse, safeguarding and the Churches
5. Street Pastors Guide
6. Anti-woke supporters of Christian belief


Supplementary material

Discussed in the column to the right, a case of alleged exorcism intended to 'cure' homosexuality at a Sheffield Church. A video on the subject of exorcism to 'cure' homosexuality from the Manifested Glory Ministries in the United States, the other at a 'Winners Chapel' in this country. Winners Chapel has many branches, including one in Sheffield.


https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=vhedHERfcXk


A shocking video produced by Manifested Glory Ministries showing an attempt at removing 'demons' responsible, according to the Church for the homosexuality of the youth shown lying on the floor. Timings: things get moving at about 3:45, with mentions of 'homosexual.' At about 6:21, there begins a long period which is much more forceful, with shouting and actions - deeply disturbing.


The ITV News video, 'The UK church that claims God can fix gay people'




has introductory material, a quiet 'consultation' but at 3:09 it becomes very different.


In the column to the right, I only give an extract from one of the videos where Paul Hunt, Pastor at the Rock Christian Centre in Sheffield, reads from the 'infallible Word of God.' Here are some other extracts:




Numbers 31

[14] Moses was angry with the officers of the army---the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds---who returned from the battle. [15] "Have you allowed all the women to live?" he asked them. [16] "They were the ones who followed Balaam's advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the Lord in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the Lord's people. [17] Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, [18] but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.





Deuteronomy 21
[18] If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, [19] his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. [20] They shall say to the elders, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard." [21] Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death ...




Deuteronomy 32

 "I will heap calamities upon them and spend my arrows against them. [24] I will send wasting famine against them, consuming pestilence and deadly plague; I will send against them the fangs of wild beasts, the venom of vipers that glide in the dust. [25] In the street the sword will make them childless; in their homes terror will reign. Young men and young women will perish, infants and gray-haired men.




Leviticus 24
[16] anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death.




Leviticus 18
[22] " 'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.





The South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner: issues concerning use of public money




Above, top, a photograph from the Police and Crime Commissioner's Website showing Alan Billings, on the left, and Paul Hunt, a Pastor at the Rock Christian Centre, on the right.


A quote from the Website of Rock Christian Centre which makes many claims, amongst them these:

God is outraged by abortion.
God is outraged by homosexuality.
God is outraged by blasphemy.


Rock Christian Centre is a 'participating Church' in the group of Churches, 'Arise!' Sheffield Cathedral is on the list and so too is  St Thomas Philadelphia.


St Thomas Philadelphia is the place where, allegedly, a gay man was allegedly subjected to an exorcism, involving prayer to rid him of the 'demons' allegedly causing his homosexuality. I have much more information below about  disturbing happenings at Rock Christian Centre and St Thomas Philadelphia below - and about the decision of Alan Billings, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, to award them grants from public money. I give reasons for my view that this decision was disastrously misguided.


The photographs above show a knife bin in the Burngreave area of Sheffield, some of the people who attended a little ceremony in connection with the placing of the knife bin, and a detail, stickers on the bin with adverts for Rock Christian Centre and the Christian Police Association. The Christian Police Association shares the hard core fundamentalist conservative evangelical beliefs of the Rock Christian Centre - the Bible infallible, 'God's Word,' hellfire for all and for eternity, apart from the small minority who accept Jesus as 'personal Lord and Saviour.' More on the knife bin below as well.


The original photographs above have been cropped and faces hidden in the top photograph so as not to infringe copyright. The other image in this column has been modified for the same reason. If a claim is made that any of these images do infringe copyright, then I will remove them. They reinforce the comments I make but are not essential.


Below, the information that Alan Billings, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, gave a grant - public money - to the Rock Christian Centre and the Christian Police Association. 

From the Website of Rock Christian Centre, the page 'Why Christianity?'



The fury of Almighty God against evil is evidence of His goodness. If He wasn’t angered, He wouldn’t be good. We cannot separate God’s goodness from His anger. Again, if God is good by nature, He must be unspeakably angry at wickedness.

But His goodness is so great that His anger isn’t confined to the evils of rape and murder. Nothing is hidden from His pure and holy eyes. He [God] is outraged by torture, terrorism, abortion, theft, lying, adultery, fornication, pedophilia, homosexuality, and blasphemy. He also sees our thought-life, and He will judge us for the hidden sins of the heart: for lust, hatred, rebellion, greed, unclean imaginations, ingratitude, selfishness, jealousy, pride, envy, deceit, etc. Jesus warned, “But I say to you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. ” (emphasis added).

The Bible says that God’s wrath “abides” on each of us, and that every time we sin [in the case of gay people, by being gay], we’re “storing up wrath” that will be revealed on Judgment Day. We are even told that we are “by nature the children of wrath”  Sinning against God comes naturally to us—and we naturally earn His anger by our sins.


Alan Billings, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, quoted on his own page:


“I am grateful to the Rock Christian Centre for allowing the bin to be placed outside their premises and for the concerns they have for the well-being of the area.”


Grateful for what? He made a grant - he gave public money to the Rock Christian Centre and the Christian Police Association. He gave them free publicity - above, a detail from the bin, on three sides of the bin, publicizing the  Rock Christian Centre and the Christian Police Association.' The Christian Police Association (hember: Sergeant Simon Kirkham) shares the hard-core fundamentalist beliefs of the Rock Christian Centre. I work actively to oppose those beliefs. I consider them harmful. But this is one sphere of activity and activism amongst many. My Web site gives information about the others.


Paul Hunt has produced a whole series of You Tube videos, readings from 'God's Word,' 'The Bible.'


This is one of them, on Leviticus 20. Other examples in the 'Supplementary material' in the column to the left.



Above, image of Paul Hunt of Rock Christian centre reading from Leviticus 20




Paul Hunt reads out the text which is provided with the video, without comment. Amongst the issues raised in this passage are these: bad language to a father or mother, homosexuality, sexual relations during menstruation and acting as a medium.


9] " 'If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother, and his blood will be on his own head. 

[13] " 'If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

[18] " 'If a man lies with a woman during her monthly period and has sexual relations with her, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has also uncovered it. Both of them must be cut off from their people.

[27] " 'A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.' "


The Pastor mentions homosexuality at  2:10 into the video.


Public money given to the Rock Christian Centre and the Christian Police Association was public money not given to charities which deserve support. I oppose the view that organizations such as the Rock Christian Centre and the Christian Police Association deserve support, financial or other. The Rock Christian Centre isn't so short of money that the money was essential. It could have financed the knife bin without making an application for a grant.


From the site




which gives financial data for Rock Christian Centre for the financial year ending 31 October 2021.


Total income: £322,067
Total expenditure: £221,799

The little ceremony to mark the placing of the knife bin was reported in the local newspaper, 'The Star.'


Alan Billings seems to have a liking for this kind of event. It generates more publicity for him and this event generated publicity for the Rock Christian Centre and the Christian Police Association. It gives the superficial impression of vigour, of decisive action. Alan Billings surely realizes that one knife bin isn't going to have more than a minor - an insignificant - impact on knife crime, but again and again, he doesn't think things through. His grasp of evidence-based policing is very defective. In fact, even if there were a large number of knife bins in Sheffield, the evidence that they would have an effect on knife crime is much nearer to non-existent than to overwhelming.

Knife bins and media campaigns to help reduce violence have little 'positive impact', research finds. Research suggests there is no evidence that money spent on knife bins and high-profile media campaigns to help prevent knife crime has “any real and lasting impact”.


This is from


Police Professional


which, unlike Dr Billings, really does have a good grasp of evidence-based policing.


Knife bins and media campaigns to help reduce violence have little ‘positive impact’, research finds


Research on the effect of Knife Bins was carried out by the 'Youth Endowment Fund,' which is financed by the Home Office.


It said in the few UK evaluations available on the impact of media campaigns, there were instances where – against the intention of the campaign – young people became potentially more likely to carry a knife. When asked about campaign images of knives, young people actually said that it increased the perceived threat, which meant they felt a greater need to protect themselves.

But this isn't the first time that Alan Billings has given public money to an organization which surely doesn't deserve it in the least, as I show on my page


Alan Billings gave a grant to a very, very wealthy organization, the Philadelphia Network Church. The giving of public money to such an organization was irresponsible - not just irresponsible, disastrously misguided.  This is the church where it was alleged an attempted exorcism took place, to rid a gay man of the demons supposedly responsible for his condition. The case was widely reported in local and national media. This is from the BBC report:

'Conversion therapy: Gay man talks of church 'exorcism' trauma'


A gay man says he was pressured into conversion therapy by a church and told prayer would rid him of the "demons of homosexuality".


Matthew Drapper said he had continuing trauma after undergoing a form of "exorcism" at Sheffield's St Thomas Philadelphia church eight years ago.


"The people I was with told me they could see demons leave me and go out of the window."


My page



has more on the Matthew Drapper case:

'They told me to speak against the sort of demonic hold that being gay had in my life.

'I was told to renounce the belief system of homosexuality and to cancel my agreement with Satan and to break the power of homosexuality in my life through the blood of Jesus.'

'They told me they could see demons leave my body and go out the window. It was terrifying,' he added.


gives this information about grants to these organizations. I haven't been able to find information about grants in other years.

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Community Grant Scheme 2018/19

District: Sheffield  Organisation: Forge Youth (The Philadelphia Network Limited)  Grant: £4,680.

District: Sheffield  Organisation: Christian Police Association  Grant: £4,460.

Information about the organizations:

Forge Youth is a Christian youth project that is part of Network Church, Sheffield. Network Church is an operating name of The Philadelphia Network Limited.

Extracts from the Website of Forge Youth. Comment: the practices described are harmful, very harmful, surely. Young people should never be encouraged to rely upon prayer as the answer to physical (or psychological) problems. Young people should never be encouraged to believe uncritically that if people recover from an illness or an injury that this must be evidence of 'God's work.' Obviously, the consequences of neglecting proper medical treatment and relying on prayer can be dire.


Amongst all the fun and events, we saw young people healed, worshiping like mad to Jesus, responding to his word, encountering God for the first time and 3 young people gave their lives to Jesus! Thank you for your support.  Here’s just a handful of testimonies...

I had problems with my hamstring and pelvis so I had reduced flexibility in my legs. I got prayer for healing and after Soul Survivor I had another physio appointment and she was shocked at how much more flexible my legs were: They are completely back to normal!

Never experienced God as much as I did, so thankful for this experience.  Bring on Soul Survivor 2016!

I've had a really bad back for years.  Recently it has been hard to walk without pain in my back. I got prayer and my back is fully healed, I can bend and there's no pain in my back!


I was absolutely taken by the worship: Standing there and singing in the presence of the Holy Spirit is such an amazing experience.  God really used that to bring me a sense of peace.  A couple of days in I had a sharp back pain and I was prayed for after the morning meeting.  Immediately afterwards, no pain! God is Good!"

Information on the financial status of 'The Philadelphia Network Limited'

From the site of the Charity Commission for England and Wales


Total income for financial year ending 31 December, £2021: 1,286,000
Total expenditure for year ending 31 December, 2021: £980,000.

In the years 2017 - 2021, income was well above  £1 million for every year but 2019, when it was  £946,000.


'This charity has substantial unrestricted reserves available and so may not be able to utilise additional funding'  [That is, it has more money than it can easily use.]



To return to the Rock Christian Centre, Alan Billings attended the relaunch of the Christian Police Association, as reported in the newspaper 'The Star:'




A bible reading and evening of celebration was held in Sheffield to mark the re-launch of the Christian Police Association at South Yorkshire Police.


Members of the public joined South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings, Chief Constable Stephen Watson, officers and police support staff at the Rock Christian Centre in Carlisle Street.


Dr Billings and the chief were presented with specially commissioned South Yorkshire Police crested bibles by Thomas of Gideons International. Sergeant Simon Kirkham, a Rotherham police officer, delivered the reading to around 150 colleagues, support staff and members of the public 


Dr Billings made a bad mistake by choosing to attend this event - and by bringing along the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police at the time, Stephen Watson. Again, this gave favourable publicity to an organization which doesn't deserve favourable publicity in the least. It gave legitimacy to an organization which doesn't deserve it.


The Gideons too got some free publicity from the event. This is yet another organization which doesn't deserve free publicity. At the time of the event, the Gideons didn't allow women to be members - they have a lesser status  and still doesn't allow them to be members.


More on 'Arise! The page



gives a list of participating Churches, with a map. There are 79 Churches in the list.


My page




includes profiles of some participating Churches at the time when the page was written, including profiles of Rock Christian Centre and the Diocese - Sheffield Cathedral. I don't include a profile of St Thomas Philadelphia but I do include a profile of St Thomas Church in the Crookes area of Sheffield.






A petition on freedom of expression organized by fundamentalist conservative Evangelical Christians - a petition I support!



The Home Page of the site makes it clear that expression 'without any restriction' is not my view, that free expression is not to be regarded as an absolute right, in all circumstances. The Home Page also makes it clear that the site includes 'criticism of Christian views - without assuming that non-Christians and anti-Christians have a monopoly of good sense, without assuming that they are incapable of stupidity (and worse).'




A remarkable petition, started by Jon Watts, a Pastor at Rock Christian Centre and signed by, amongst others, Tricia Watts. I agree with the  thesis! It's heartening, it's well expressed! In this case, I agree with the view put forward by people whose beliefs I loathe, whose beliefs I argue are harmful, very harmful! Below, a copy of the petition, with signatories.


The principle of free expression is not just under threat in Sheffield - free expression is already penalized in Sheffield, in South Yorkshire. In South Yorkshire, the restriction upon freedom of expression can be severe, and amongst the chief censors and would-be suppressors of free expression is the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner. Alan Billings has tried to enforce restriction on free expression and free thought by his grossly misguided policies on 'Hate Crime' and has found in South Yorkshire Police a willing accomplice. He has had no difficulty in imposing his view on a police force ready to surrender far too much of its independence.


Alan Billings was elected as South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner but he has set himself up as  the self-appointed (or self-anointed) arbiter of ethics in South Yorkshire. He has decided what constitutes  'Hate Crime,' what counts as 'Hate Crime' for the purposes of police action - and South Yorkshire Police have been obeying his dictats. His pronouncements on these matters aren't profound, aren't interesting, aren't in accordance with common sense, are supported by no developed ethical thinking or much in the way of general thinking. His ideas on the subject seem to be simply assumed.


He hasn't needed to issue detailed instructions, he hasn't been required to produce supporting evidence. His assumptions have the force almost of law and nobody in South Yorkshire Police dares to challenge the assumptions of Alan Billings, at least publicly.


So, in this county, it would be unthinkable to send police constables to someone's house if they used texts from the Bible to condemn homosexuals. How could this possibly happen? Why, Alan Billings has made grants of public money to organisations which do just that!


I avoid glib changes of wording to make a point but I'm sure I can justify this, for once. Alan Billings: 'The South Yorkshire Thought Police and Hate Crime Commissar.' Commissars: enforcers of propaganda and indoctrination in Communist ideology. The alternative title for the PCC amounts to hyperbole, obviously, but in his naive and simplistic way, Alan Billings has been inflicting real damage on legitimate free expression in South Yorkshire.


After the copy of the petition and signatories, I give a short summary of some of my objections to the pursuit of 'Hate Crime' by Alan Billings and South Yorkshire Police. There are much fuller discussions on other pages, including  argument and evidence based on this thesis: that if the Police and Crime Commissioner and South Yorkshire Police are determined to eliminate 'Hate Crime,' they surely have to oppose - eliminate - all those references in the Bible which surely amount to 'Hate Crime,' such as the Biblical text Psalm 137:9, quoted in many places on the pages of this site.


The copy of the petition:


Jon Watts started this petition to David Grey and 2 others.

Dear Sheffield Council and Sheffield City Trust, 

We believe Sheffield is a liberal and inclusive city. A city that is a refuge for many and a city where people can speak freely, within the law, without fear of censorship. This is a city that is home to persecuted Christian, Jewish, Muslim, LGBTQ+, BAME and other minority groups from across the globe. Some have had to flee their homes and nations because of the views that they hold. They believe that their right to free speech is protected in our city.

Therefore our approach to equality and inclusivity cannot be selective; if we only hear the voices we agree with then we are choosing to be half deaf. History tells us that silencing viewpoints that we may disagree with breeds populism and extremism.

From Blades to Owls, steel workers to miners, from tech startups to teachers and socialists to conservatives - in Sheffield we have a proud tradition of allowing sparks to fly and talking through our differences. Sometimes we disagree passionately, but we do not deny one another the right to think and speak differently.

Franklin Graham has committed to sharing a message “of God’s Love” that he believes, and if we do not allow him to speak to those who choose to hear, then we are in danger of showing him the same intolerance of which he is accused.

Those of us who are Christians believe that the Gospel message is good news and relevant for all, and while some may disagree with the theology of this messenger at points, we support the message of Jesus and the hope He brings. Mr Graham has invited the people of Sheffield, in our diversity of sexuality, agenda and faith to hear what he has to say and judge for ourselves. Some of us might want to attend, some boycott and some demonstrate, as is our right as citizens of a democracy.

Lord Paul Scriven, a previous Leader of Sheffield City Council and member of LGBTQ+ community, recently stated on BBC Radio Sheffield: “We cannot have self-appointed people who decide what platform people can and can't have; we have judges and a legal system to do that. You cannot shut somebody down simply because they may say something you find offensive.”*

We agree, and trust that the table of hospitality, conversation and debate in Sheffield is big enough to give people space to speak and share different opinions and moral convictions even if they are offensive. In fact, the right to offend is foundational to freedom of speech and has been the instigator of progress, science and modernity. Some may not necessarily agree with what Mr Graham and others have to say, but we defend their right to say it as essential for the maintenance of a functioning democracy. Censoring what can and can’t be said in Sheffield is not progressive, it is intolerant and paternalistic.

We ask that:

  • The council upholds their commitment to equality, free speech and religious freedom and clarifies how the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is breaking the law in Sheffield. 
  • We would furthermore ask the Council and Sheffield City Trust to outline clearly their censorship policy as the precedent that has just been set will affect books, faith groups, comedians and anyone else who may give offence with their speech within the law.

There are many things the undersigned do not necessarily agree on, including issues of faith, sexuality and politics, but we do love this city. There should always be space for tolerating different opinions, however strongly we may disagree with them.

With thanks for your service to Sheffield,


Pastor Jon Watts (Sheffield Leaders in Prayer & Rock Christian Centre)  

Rev. Abiodun Alabede (City of Refuge Foursquare Church)

Dr Towan Greene PhD

Mrs Paulette Forbes-Williams

Tricia Watts (Coordinator, Sheffield City Street Pastors)

Andrew Birtwhistle (Burngreave Foodbank Chairman)

Todd Roberts (Antioch Community Church)

Sallie Wilson (Church on the Corner)

Pastor Pete Smith

Pastor Samuel Okerenta PhD (Royal Assembly, RCCG))

Pastor Musa Bako (Victory Assembly, RCCG)

Rev. Simon Copley MA (Sheffield URC Team Ministry)

Rev. Nick Allan

Rev. Oliver Buckley (OAC Ministries South Yorkshire)

Rev. David Middleton (Holy Cross Gleadless Valley Parish Church)

Mr Isaac Wallace (International Christian Worship Centre, Assemblies of God)

Rev. Canon Paul Williams (Christ Church Fulwood)

Rev. Dr Ben Cooper (Christ Church Fulwood)

Rev. Paul Edwards DipTh (Sheffield Central Elim Pentecostal Church)

Rev. Canon Tim Davies (Christ Church Central Sheffield)

Andy & Heidi Tiplady (Bushfire Ministries)

I've a section on the grotesque beliefs of Bushfire Ministries in my page on the participating Churches of Arise!  Bushfire Ministries aren't members of Arise! now. I have no information as to why Arise! is now without the blessings of Bushfire Ministries.  Did they voluntarily withdraw? Were they expelled? This is unlikely. They can't have been expelled because their views were regarded as too extreme - consider the fact that Rock Christian Centre is still a participating Church.

Some objections to the pursuit of 'Hate Crime,' as practised by South Yorkshire Police, as directed by the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

Who is to decide what is 'Hate Crime?' Who is to decide what expressions of 'Hate Crime' should be subject to action  by South Yorkshire Police, should be subject to sanctions? In South Yorkshire, the individual with  the most influence by far is Alan Billings, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner. Is he an individual without bias, without ideological baggage, someone who has always shown himself to be impartial, someone without errors of judgment? Surely not. Again, the pages of this site give examples of his multiple  failures in these areas.

To decide if a particular expression (spoken or written) is or is not an expression of 'Hate Crime' will often be a very difficult matter. To avoid blatant injustice, investigation and decision-making will often have to be detailed and lengthy. On the evidence I have, Alan Billings has shown complete disregard for such matters as argument and evidence in his imposed policies on the pursuit of 'Hate Crime.' Sanctions have been imposed based on the testimony of the complainant, without the least interest in obtaining the testimony of the person complained against.

That has been my experience: the action taken against me for calling someone a 'blundering buffoon' and for 'mentioning' a person's Christian faith. The much fuller treatment of these issues on other pages gives alarming insights into what can happen in South Yorkshire.

I like very much the emphasis in the Petition quoted above on some strengths and values to be found in Sheffield - strengths and values which are in strong contrast with the views which underlie the pursuit of 'Hate Crime' here. Again, my own experience is relevant, I'd claim. Yorkshire people are very often thought of as blunt, plain-speaking folk,  with robust views and a high degree of common sense. But South Yorkshire folk need to be aware that to an alarming degree, their community is now under attempted control by people who  whose values are very, very different. In fact, South Yorkshire communities are under the actual control of these people to a significant extent.

These are people who see nothing wrong in pursuing someone who uses the words 'blundering buffoon,' to give just this one example. It may be that the people responsible now realize that their actions have been grossly disproportionate and unjust - or it may be that these people don't acknowledge it but do realize that they have blundered and are now looking for loopholes, a way out, ways to minimize damage to reputation and even to their careers, in one or two cases.

When police constables called at my house - when South Yorkshire Police decided to devote time and money and other resources to deliver a 'Police Information Notice' ('Harassment Warning') and later a 'Community Protection Notice - Written Warning' - on each occasion, the police constables were at my house for about an hour, without any attempt by the authorizing members of South Yorkshire Police to find out my testimony. It was also without the least idea of my circumstances.

When I received the Community Protection Notice - Written Warning, it was the day after my mother, 96 years old, had been admitted to a frailty ward. I won't exaggerate, I put these ridiculous documents in context, but they have had an impact, and a continuing impact. I called at a Police Station in Sheffield to speak to a duty police officer about the impact but an officer wasn't available. This was on a Friday. I and other family members had been informed that our mother couldn't live longer than the Monday ofter the weekend. After leaving the police station, I went to the hospital and found that mother had died a short time before.

Alan Billings has declared - repeatedly, in his various police and crime plans and many other places - that 'treating people properly' is one of his main priorities and a priority for South Yorkshire Police.

This isn't someone who has turned claim into reality, I would contend, this isn't someone who has enhanced the reputation of South Yorkshire, this isn't someone whose judgment I trust - rather, this is someone whose plans, decisions, actions should be scrutinized very, very carefully. But the bodies who are supposed to do that, the Police and Crime Panel and the Independent Ethics Panel, have comprehensively failed to offer proper scrutiny, to 'hold to account' the Police and Crime Commissioner. They too have largely failed the public. Again, I provide argument and evidence on these pages.

I refer to the wording of the petition as remarkable, heartening, well expressed but the petition is also grotesque and misleading. The omissions are very serious. In their long history, Churches have again and again been persecuting Churches, penalizing words they claimed are blasphemous or heretical. In the column to the left, I give the evidence that Rock Christian Centre thinks of blasphemy in a way that would be endorsed by Churches in the Middle Ages, and in later centuries, and in earlier centuries.

The main difference is in the sanctions. In this secular age, the most severe sanctions, such as burning alive, are unavailable. In our tolerant society, some things are tolerated and freely permitted which shouldn't be banned, in most cases, but which should be opposed, surely.

I wouldn't advocate the banning of Christian faith schools but I think that t to subject the children of non-Christian parents to what could be caled Christian indoctrination, to subject any children to what could be called sectarian education is not just misguided but indefensible, in the form it so often takes.

The authors of the petition have produced a document with many strengths but one which is unbalanced. They overlook, or don't include, the many advantages which Christians have, such as the many evangelical faith schools which offer an unbalanced curriculum. The Churches receive donations on a massive scale. One of my objectives is to give wider recognition of the need to consider very carefully if a church (or cathedral) is worthy of receiving a donation. The money given to a church (or cathedral) is money which could have gone to an organization without the severe disadvantages of Christian organizations.


See my comprehensive page on Church donations:


Giving to good causes. Objections to  giving to  churches / church organizations. 


In South Yorkshire, under the controlling influence of Dr Billings, the Churches have what amounts to a privileged status. Churches have received public money from the Police and Crime Commissioner, grants to organizations which can be criticized severely, grants which could have gone to far more deserving organizations.


The Police and Crime Commissioner has failed to address adequately issues to do with sexual abuse and other forms of abuse perpetrated by members of Churches. Church hierarchies have failed again and again to address the alarming problems and in some cases have allowed the perpetrators to go on offending. Dr Billings has given the impression that the problem is low in the list of priorities - so low as to be absent from his 'To do' list, matters which demand some form of action.


He has cultivated an image of himself as something of an expert in ethical discourse, someone whose practice is intensely moral. His practice is far less accomplished than his image-construction.


Members of 'Arise!' have gone in for what I would call 'prayer-stunts,' what they think of as a form of conversation with God. A few years ago, it was claimed, they walked along every street in Sheffield, praying as they walked. I can well believe that they covered most streets, or almost all the streets.


There's no record of the prayers that they offered but it's easy to construct a general outline, given the beliefs and 'values' recorded on the Church Websites. I haven't consulted all the Websites, obviously, but I have consulted what amounts to a representative sample.


Members of Rock Christian Church and the Philadelphia Network Church may well have prayed to God in terms such as these, an imaginary example but not at all wide of the mark, I'd say:


'Heavenly father, we thank you for the gift of your son, our saviour Jesus Christ our Lord. We ask that you show your light to the lost, and that you rescue from the sin of homosexuality those who know nothing of your Word.'


Dr Billings wouldn't use a prayer which is anything like that but in the course of my researches, which include some of the books on my bookshelves written by Dr Billings, I've come to the conclusion that this is someone whose Christian belief is much closer to orthodoxy than might be realized. In particular, he seems to view prayer in a way that completely neglects the difficulties, which does, I think, treat prayer as effective in all kinds of circumstances. He may lack the particular certitude to be found in hard-core fundamentalist believers but he's not vastly different from them, on the evidence I have.


In peace as in war, this reliance upon prayer is open to many objections. Prayer was not responsible for the defeat of Nazi Germany. It would be a gross distortion to give prayer - or chaplains attached to the armed forces - the credit for defeating Nazi Germany. Similarly in the case of the defeat of Russia and the victory of Ukraine, which I and countless others fervently hope will be the outcome of the current conflict.


Despite all this, I oppose attempts to make criticism of homosexuals and objections to homosexuality a hate crime, attempts to make use of Bible texts to justify that criticism a hate crime, for a number of reasons. These are addressed after the summary of my objections to the practice of Alan Billings and South Yorkshire Police.


I have such loathing for such people, but to back up loathing with legal penalties and police action in these cases is impossible. Nobody should demand that the law and the police should address situations which, realistically, cannot possibly be addressed. There are too many deranged and semi-deranged Christians out there. Dealing with more than a small percentage would take up too much time, too much effort, too much money. The same objection applies to the futile attempts of Alan Billings and the people in South Yorkshire Police who are glad to follow their leader. In significant areas of their work, it's Alan Billings who is the leader, not the Chief Constable.

Correcting an abuse can sometimes entail over-correction. Too many advocates for LGBQT issues take this route. I see no reason whatsoever for assuming that LGBQT advocates are uniformly enlightened, sensible, with a strong sense of realities, for what is possible and what is impossible. I completely oppose the view that LGBQT advocates can do no wrong, that LGBQT people can do no wrong, that they are uniformly virtuous.


There's Christian orthodoxy and such a thing as non-Christian orthodoxy. Non-Christian orthodoxy has power of its own. Non-Christian orthodoxy misuses its power often, suppressing fair-minded discussion, attempting to censor, attempting to ban.


Again and again, I encounter evidence of the narrowness of so many people who are advocates for one or another variety of non-Christian orthodoxy, not just a narrowness of thinking but a restriction of human sympathies. Many of them, I think, are ineffectual. Some of them  seem to  show no particular interest in helping people outside their favoured group and not much interest in helping people who belong to their favoured group Some of them give the impression of being narcissists.


In fact, again and again, people have done far more for the welfare of people  who wouldn't fit into these circles at all. The most important help given to LGBQT people in Afghanistan was given by the armed forces who kept the Taliban at bay for so long.


The Independent Ethics Panel  


I've a wide range of ethical issues to bring to the attention of the Panel. In fact, I've already brought many of them to their attention. On this page, I mention some of them I haven't brought to their attention yet, only uncovered recently.


One recent issue arises from the complaint I made to the Professional Standards Department of South Yorkshire Police. The complaint was against Sergeant Simon Kirkham, mentioned in the column to the left and at much greater length on other pages. This complaint was hideously mismanaged. I wasn't asked for my testimony. Sergeant Kirkham was asked for his testimony, which included an outright lie. Sergeant Kirkham, a fundamentalist evangelical, claimed, according to the Investigator who considered my complaint and then produced the grossly inadequate outcome document, that he had no knowledge that the complainant was a Christian too. But the document he authorized included, in the 'Details of the conduct' section, the information that I made 'mention of her personal faith.'


From the page 'Independent Ethics Panel - Terms of Reference'


I'm able to show that despite the assistance of the members of the Panel - they include two University Professors - South Yorkshire Police has shown multiple failures and the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner has shown multiple failures. The Independent Ethics Panel is supposed to guide and advise the police and the commissioner but has demonstrably shown multiple failures too.


I've already provided so much evidence on the pages of the site but there's more to come, much more, in fact. It will be added to this page.


From the 'Terms of Reference:'


Supporting the PCC and Chief Constable to consider ethical dimensions of their work.

 Anticipating ethical challenges facing the police service and considering SYP’s proposed response.

Promoting compliance with the Code of Ethics for police officers and the wider police family.

Supporting the Chief Constable in developing and delivering organisational approaches to fundamental cultural change based on ethical values.

Encouraging a culture of learning lessons.

 Promoting the influence of ethics in delivering excellent quality of service.

Assuring the PCC and Chief Constable that ethics, diversity and compliance standards and procedures are effective in South Yorkshire Police and effectively communicated to the public.

 Assuring the PCC and Chief Constable that complaints procedures are effective and complaints are effectively handled.  




https://southyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/what-we-do/iep/meetings-agendas-minutes/   16 December 2020






   'Treating people properly:' claims and realities. The record of Alan Billings, PCC.