Church of England diocese criticises clergy members who took part in Insulate ...

Church of England diocese criticises clergy members who took part in Insulate ...
Church of England diocese criticises clergy members who took part in Insulate ...

A Church of England diocese last night criticised members of clergy who took part in the M25 eco-protests.

The Diocese of Oxford said Tim Hewes, 71, Sue Parfitt, 79, Mark Coleman, 62, and Martin Newell, 54, had 'frustrated many people' by blocking the motorway.

Reverend Hewes, who once sewed up his lips in protest at the influence of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has 'permission to officiate' in the diocese although he does not have a parish.

Reverend Parfitt, from Bristol, and Reverend Coleman, a former borough dean of Rochdale, are both retired from ministry. 

Father Newell, a Roman Catholic priest belonging to the Passionist order, works with asylum seekers in Birmingham.

Retired dentist Reverend Tim Hewes, 71, has 'permission to officiate' in the diocese although he does not have a parish

Reverend Sue Parfitt, 79, from Bristol, is retired from ministry

The Diocese of Oxford slammed clergy members including Reverend Tim Hewes, 71, (left) and Reverend Sue Parfitt (right) who took part in Insulate Britain's M25 eco-protests

Reverends Sue Parfitt (far left), Mark Coleman (second from left), Tim Hewes (third from right, back) and Fr Martin Newell (far right) pictured blocking the M25 with Insulate Britain

Reverends Sue Parfitt (far left), Mark Coleman (second from left), Tim Hewes (third from right, back) and Fr Martin Newell (far right) pictured blocking the M25 with Insulate Britain 

Asked about Rev Hewes yesterday, a spokesman for the Diocese of Oxford said: 'The actions of Rev Hewes and others, while arguably well-intentioned, have frustrated many people and we're unclear how the actions have been productive in encouraging the urgent change required.

'Legitimate protest can play an important part in national debate and decision making, but the actions of Insulate Britain in recent days aren't helping.

'Responding constructively to the current emergency is the responsibility of every family, every workplace, every village, town and city, every company, and every public institution. We all need to work together.'

Rev Hewes, a retired dentist, yesterday said the Bishop of Dorchester, Gavin Collins, who comes under the Diocese of Oxford, had told him 'he does support issues regarding climate change and the environment but not about breaking the law'.

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