"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Vicar Arrested over Sham Immigrant Weddings

From the Mail:

A vicar has been arrested on suspicion of organising 180 sham weddings for illegal immigrants from Eastern Europe, it emerged today.

The Rev Alex Brown, 61, was detained by police following a dawn raid on his rectory home yesterday.

He was one of four people being held today, as well as a Ukrainian man, a Latvian woman - believed to be one of the brides - and an Armenian male.

Brown’s church, St Peter and St Paul in St Leonards-on-sea, East Sussex, was closed following police searches.

A handwritten note pinned to the locked door of the imposing red brick church said: ‘All appointments have been cancelled for the foreseeable future!’

More than 35 officers from the UK Border Agency and Sussex Police arrested the suspects at four addresses following an 18-month investigation into bogus weddings.

The marriages were allegedly arranged to allow people from outside Britain and the EU to stay in the country illegally by claiming residency through via their legal spouse.

Brown, 61, was held on suspicion of facilitating the illegal entry of people into Britain.

Applications for UK residency were suspended 18 months ago for people married at St Peter and St Paul while the investigation was going on.

Permanent residency is only allowed after five years of marriage.

Detective Inspector Andy Cummins, of the UK Border Agency’s Joint Immigration and Crime Team, said: ‘Today’s arrests follow an 18-month investigation into allegations that nearly 180 sham marriages had been arranged at the local St Leonards church, allowing non-EU nationals to remain within the UK and EU member states.

‘Search warrants were obtained and officers have searched premises and arrested three men and a woman.’

A spokesman for the Chichester Diocese said: ‘It is with great sadness and regret that the Bishop of Lewes has received a report of the arrest of the Rev Alex Brown, the Vicar of St Peter’s.

‘The Church has been cooperating fully with the police and other agencies since the extent and seriousness of this matter came to light.

‘The bishop is concerned for the wellbeing of the congregation at St Peter’s, who will be upset and hurt by the news.

‘He has taken steps to ensure they are looked after pastorally and every support is being given to help church life continue as normally as possible.

‘The Church requires high standards of its clergy. In that light, the Rev Brown has been suspended from his duties pending the outcome of the investigations.’


Dr.D said...

With fuzzy thinking like +++Rowan at the top, it is not surprising to find this sort of thing going on at the working level of the clergy. I'm pretty sure the Archbishop would approve; after all, he is a man of the far Left himself.

It is most unfortunate that the CoE has seemingly lost the Gospel but has plenty of time and energy for things outside the Gospel. No wonder the CoE is collapsing.

Bernard said...

Anglican clergy have an age-old legal obligation to marry those resident in their parishes, or on the electoral roll of their churches. Immigration status is not one of the criteria.

Modern immigration laws are in conflict with this.

So assuming Revd Alex Brown didn't receive money or anything stupid like that, this will be an interesting test case of which law take priority (assuming it goes to court).

WAKE UP said...

Civilisations are not conquered, they commit suicide. Assisted by traitors like this.