Suffer Little Children: An Open Letter to Rev Lucy Winkett

This has been cross-posted from my blog here


Dear Reverend Lucy Winkett,

Recently, for twelve days over the Christmas period, St James’s Church Piccadilly, of which you are minister, hosted in its spacious forecourt an eight-metre high replica of the Wall

The cost of this noxious stunt, seen by many people (and who can blame them?) as reeking of an antisemitism that they had assumed belonged to Christendom’s past, was a staggering £30,000.  Many people might regard that figure as akin to the 30 pieces of silver for the sake of which Judas is said to have betrayed your messiah, Jesus.  After all, the expenditure of £30,000 on a replica Wall must seem to many people to be a tragic, wasteful betrayal of the needy and anguished, whether they be at home or overseas.

Now, the actual Wall (a separation fence for most of its length, truth to tell) is not the most picturesque of sights (nor is it, incidentally, unique in the world), but in the circumstances at present governing the Middle East, such a separation barrier that protects Israeli civilians from Palestinian Arab suicide bombers is a regrettable necessity. It does its job well.


As you know only too well, of course, when the replica Wall was standing members of the pubic were encouraged to write messages on it, and naturally availed themselves of that opportunity.   Many were intemperate attacks on Zionism and the State of Israel and some reflected Jew-hatred raw and savage.

A church official with a spray can was on hand to paint over messages deemed offensive.  The criteria for offensiveness was idiosyncratic, to put it kindly.  For instance, a swastika was left untouched until two Jewish sisters, naturally affronted by that symbol, scrubbed it out themselves.  One of the sisters then wrote “This Wall Saves Lives”.  But her handiwork did not last long.

For your official moved with alacrity when messages sympathetic to Israel were spotted, as in the case of the reference to a baby girl, three months’ old, whose head was virtually severed from her tiny body by Palestinian Arab terrorists who butchered her and her parents and siblings in 2011 (see the accompanying photos labelled “Before” and “After”)

My reason for writing this letter is to suggest a new stunt that your church could  now undertake.  I’m sure you will be as enthusiastic about it as I am. Perhaps it could be your Easter project.  I certainly hope so.

You see, for this stunt you would not need, as you did in order to fund the costly replica Wall, to hold the begging bowl out to various radical (including, if I’m not mistaken, Islamic)  bodies.

All you would require for this stunt would be a number of cardboard placards and a thick black texta pen to make posters (Jill, a Christian lady  from Sussex Friends of Israel, is an expert in this area, and I’m sure would be glad to advise on how to make a good sturdy poster carrying true and effective information and slogans).

Apart from those props all you would require would be the big iron gates behind which St James’s Piccadilly nestles (see accompanying photo, which depicts Sussex Friends of Israel kept firmly out on the pavement by that hefty barrier, securely locked against them by your checkpoint guards (I jest, I jest) your church officials when the replica Wall was standing on the other side).

Oh, and you’d also need a few chains.  I’m sure the church officials who kept the Sussex Friends of Israel out will have one or two, complete with padlocks.  Your members will doubtless have others: in garages, in bike sheds, that sort of thing.  And if worse comes to worst, string and twine will suffice.

“The church gates? Chains?  Why so?” you will ask.

The answer, Reverend Winkett, lies with this very small, beautiful, anguished child.

Unless you understand Arabic, she could not begin to explain it to you herself, even if she were still alive.

You see, this little girl’s parents were Syrian Christians, and like them, she became a martyr to her faith.  A martyr to her parent’ faith, I suppose I should say in view of her tender years.  A martyr at the very hands of the cruel and ruthless Islamists and Jihadists who wish to wipe Israel and Jews and Christians and Christianity from the face of the Middle East.

The Facebook page of the Emmaus Group, explains:

Child “crucified” in Syria.

The image … shows a very young girl tied to railings in a crucifixion style position and left until dead. The image was sent to us via facebook from a contact in Syria. The girl’s crime, as if there could be one? Her parents were Christians. She was tied up and made to watch her parents being killed then left. This evil act was perpetrated by Syrian rebels. The same rebels the West continues to support financially, with training and technology and supposedly, “non lethal hardware.”

 Sadly this practice is not new. Christian children have been crucified in Iraq in an attempt to terrify their parents and the Christian population in general. See link

I’m sure that you will jump at the chance for your church to express solidarity with persecuted Christians throughout the Islamic world by making this little girl a symbol of your protest.

By staging a demonstration at your church gates, with congregants tied to the gates in symbolism of this little girl and the agonies she and her parents suffered, you will be demonstrating that your church does not stage publicity stunts only in order to bring infamy upon the little State of Israel (where, as you will already be aware, Christians are well-treated and increasing in number).

I’d suggest that, to symbolise the little girl in the blue dress fully, congregants (the female ones, of course) beg or borrow a dress in that colour to wear during the twelve days of the demonstration.

“Twelve days!” I hear you exclaim. “Why twelve days? The Wall stood for twelve days because it was Christmas!”

Indeed it did.  And because it did, this stunt should be of comparable duration: one day for each of the Apostles.

Such a stunt by your church would also show that, contrary to widespread perceptions, the western Church does sympathise with the persecuted and martyred Christians of churches in the Islamic Middle East and elsewhere, and is prepared to be seen to do so..

You might also be the catalyst that spurs western governments from their shameful inertia regarding the plight of the Middle East’s Christians into action.

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