Westboro chosen for Crofton Park Library pilot

Lewisham Council has selected Crofton Park library to be the pilot project for its controversial strategy to allow private or third-sector organisations to operate four local libraries - with Westboro Baptist Church identified as the preferred partner, according to this report in The Times.


In March, the Council invited interested parties to submit their tenders and while the formal deadline is not until April 4th, the Council is understood to want a "quick win" in response to the anti-cuts demonstrations that have taken place across the borough in recent weeks.

The Church reportedly plans to use the derelict upper floor for "multi-faith initiatives", while the ground floor would offer "a new, more luxurious reading environment and a range of workshop activities, such as sign-making."

On their blog, they say:

We want this to be a free space for the community to use and we invite everyone inside with their ideas for the building and the wider world, or even just to chat over a cuppa. We plan caf├ęs, film nights, workshops, and a million other things on which we’d love to hear your ideas!

The US-based church has earned a degree of notoriety in its home country, for its hard-line views on a range of social issues and its intolerance of other religions, while in 2009, two of its members were banned from entering the UK by the Home Office. However, the Church stresses that its UK chapter is committed to "inclusivity, cultural cohesion and education."

While Brockley Central has to admit to feeling somewhat uncomfortable about an organisation best-known for threatening to burn books taking over a library, we are excited about the plans "to introduce sofas, a gaggia coffee machine and a fresh fruit and vegetable collection point", all of which are badly needed in the area. Parking issues will be the number one concern, obviously.

We'll update the story later today, once we've been able to speak to Lewisham Council press office.

27 comments:

Robert said...

Shudder. I hope to God (pun intentional) that this is an April Fools joke.

drakefell debaser said...

April fools - the quote about their ideas is the same as the group that took over the Job Centre in Deptford.

Anonymous said...

The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is an independent Baptist church known for its extreme stance against homosexuality[1] and its protest activities, which include picketing funerals and desecrating the American flag.[2] The church is widely described as a hate group[3] and is monitored as such by the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center. It is headed by Fred Phelps and consists mostly of members of his large family;[4] in 2007, it had 71 members.[5] The church is headquartered in a residential neighborhood on the west side of Topeka about three miles west of the Kansas State Capitol at 3701 West 12th Street, Topeka, Kansas, United States. Its first public service was held on the afternoon of Sunday, November 27, 1955.[6]

The church has been actively involved in the anti-gay movement since at least 1991 when it sought a crackdown on homosexual activity at Gage Park six blocks northwest of the church.[7] In addition to anti-gay protests at military funerals, the organization pickets other celebrity funerals that are likely to get it media attention.[8]

The WBC is not affiliated with any known Baptist conventions or associations. The church describes itself as following Primitive Baptist and Calvinist principles,[9] though mainstream Primitive Baptists reject the WBC and Phelps.[10]

Monkeyboy said...

Thanks Anon, that's cleared that up. But surely the question every one is asking is will they be stocking any Harry Potter or perhaps some Dan Brown for those who want a more substantial read?

Anonymous said...

The Westboro Baptist Church believes that Barack Obama is the Antichrist, and that he forms an Unholy Trinity with Satan and Pope Benedict XVI, who they believe is the False Prophet.[70]

In response to a Newsweek article alleging that American soldiers flushed copies of the Qur'an down the toilet at Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay, Fred Phelps released this statement:[58]

So what if our guys flushed copies of the Quran down the toilet? We hope they did. They probably did; We hope they flush more. Mohammed was a demon-possessed whoremonger and pedophile who contrived a 300-page work of Satanic fiction: The Quran! Like America's own whoremonger and pedophile wangled his own hokey Book of Mormon!

NXG_Resident said...

Louis Theroux, BBC 2, Sunday, 9pm

Louis goes back to visit the 'most hated family in America' - the Westboro Baptist Church clan.

Actually looking forward to watching it.

Headhunter said...

Are those the people with the "God Hates Fags" signs?

Crofty said...

Ha, ha, ha - nearly had heart attack until I remembered the date! But this will haunt my nightmares...

Crofty said...

And nice use of Times paywall! Great stuff Nick!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lewisham Council for supporting the group that launched a website "Why god hates India"

I would have loved to see their application: we are the british branch of a church with 75 family members, but here in England we are totally different.

mikey said...

read this agog until i remembered the date...

Ed CPZ said...

You sure know how to push my buttons Nick; I was about to go ballistic!

Anonymous said...

I was about to join

John Lilburne said...

Good one. It works better as well if you know your audience refuse to pay for The Times online.

Anonymous said...

Excellent AF. You had me!!! Until I read the comments.
Very funny.

Coney said...

Nick nicely written, but it was a bit too obvious this time.

Brockley Nick said...

@John - I thought that was true of everyone? ;)

@DD - impressed someone spotted that quote / clue! Two bonus points.

max said...

Love the cuppa bit.

drakefell debaser said...

Thanks, I was a believer up to that point, but the futility of the original statement is hard to forget.

Anonymous said...

Got me. Very, very well written.

TJ said...

I think the line that a gaggia coffee machine is a necessity for the area inspired.

I hadn't picked up on the name of the church and on first read was celebrating that we were going to get to keep our library.

Brockley Nick said...

I'm glad you guys enjoyed it and that I at least temporarily got some of you - although I must apologise to the Lewisham press office, who've been getting calls from media about this today - for the record, this was an April Fool.

Doh... said...

Very good, completely fooled until reading the comments. Official proof I am an idiot :)

Anonymous said...

In Brockley, god doesn't hate fags, he rolls his own

Karen Jonason said...

This must be an April Fool. Saturday 2nd at St Hilda's from 12.00 we will hear proposals from the only bidder who has bothered to consult with local residents

Anonymous said...

B@gger I thought this was real until just now when I remembered who this church was...

Phew...although such a thing is quite possible...

Anonymous said...

The trouble is it isn't that far from what may happen.

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