Bishop Stock–"African clergy being denied entry to the UK because of their sacrificial stipends"

The Rt Revd Nigel Stock, speaking in the House of Lords yesterday, said that despite having endorsements from senior English bishops, Africa Christians responding to invitations to enter the country are failing to get the required visa.

He said, “It seems that a new economic test is being applied to them. Able, well qualified Africans are being invited to conferences in this country and endorsed even by bishops and the Archbishop of Canterbury, but are being turned down because their personal income is low. As most African clergy live on sacrificial stipends that are intermittently paid, we are wondering whether we can ever invite anyone again from Tanzania.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

3 comments on “Bishop Stock–"African clergy being denied entry to the UK because of their sacrificial stipends"

  1. MichaelA says:

    I am not sure what is going on here, but if the article is correct then searching questions need to be asked.

    If the bishops of CofE are vetting applicants and liaising with the churches in their home countries, then UK Border Control have all the assurance they should require about character.

  2. TomRightmyer says:

    I wonder if any US churches have had any trouble getting visas for clergy visitors.

  3. Terry Tee says:

    I have had personal experience of this. As a UK citizen I am UTTERLY ASHAMED of our capricious visa policies. Two years ago I had a wedding in my church of two Iraqi Christian doctors. Both worked in our National Health Service. Her parents lived in Baghdad. They applied for a visa and were refused one on the usual grounds that they might stay in the country illegally. We involved our Member of Parliament, to no avail.
    Other examples: (1) An order of Catholic sisters set up a house in West London to be a place where sisters from abroad could come and stay for 6-12 months to live in community while learning English at language schools. They had to shut the house. The nuns were being refused visas to come. (2) Earlier this week an education authority that has successfully run courses for teachers from Tanzania learned, to its astonishment, that 20 teachers had been refused visas – on the same grounds that the bishop notes ie they were too poor.
    What really, really infuriates though is that endless people who should not get in do get in. Moreover, people convicted of serious crimes – even rape and hit and run – cannot be deported because it would infringe their human rights. Welcome to the madhouse.