Reverend Bimbi Abayomi-Cole
St Paul's Church
Crofton Road
Kent BR6 8JE


Help please - Church in Orpington

I've just discovered that QS4 have applied to put 6 masts on my daughter's favourite hang-out - St Paul's Church, Crofton Road, Orpington - available on //www.bromley.gov.uk planning portal (06/01253).

I immediately phoned my friend who is in the process of buying a house 543 metres away (google earth rules!). With the help of past saved Mast Sanity emails (thank you!) I've written a letter to planning (below) and plan, with my friend, to go to the Church tomorrow and drop some leaflets in nearby houses.

I have one question: does the vicar have the power to turn the proposal down?

I'm tailoring a letter to him and am unsure whether to waste too much energy on him that could be best spent elsewhere. Also, if I've missed any points, please tell me!

Any help much appreciated. Thanks. Angie (ORAM)

Letter to Planning:

06/01253; St Paul's Church, Crofton Road, Orpington

I object to this application on the following grounds:

The Church is in a residential area, surrounded by suburban houses and is next door to a Scout hut. The Church 'tower' is not very high (not a tall spire) therefore the masts would be nearer the ground and directly opposite the windows of the houses across the road.

This Church is on a main road and having eight louvres set into the raised wall would look hideous. I would also like to point out that I believe the plans are misleading in that there is virtually no detectable difference in existing and proposed plans, despite the 1.4m high extra walls.

St Paul's Church is a visually pleasing church - to cram 6 masts in such a small, low area would desecrate the architecture.

Regarding the higher parapet - churches should not be architecturally altered merely to accommodate foul emission-emitting eyesores.

Churches are a part of our history, many of which are very old - we should preserve them in a manner to safeguard them for the future.

The area coverage is well-served by the nearby Princess Royal Hospital masts.

Also, a large portion of coverage area is woodland. I see no need to erect further masts unnecessarily.

I would also like it noted that fears of the community are based on worldwide evidence of adverse health implications as well as increasing amounts of research showing negative effects, and no scientist or government advisory body has EVER said that emissions from masts are safe.


Hi Angie

My local Church committee refused an application for a mast because it would adversly affect local community relations. They regarded the Church as being a friendly place in the community that could be used by the community and a mast would split the community.

However lots of Churches do agree to this because of money. Do you have all the info on QS4 ? It is linked to the defence industry and a few leaflets on a Sunday to the local congregation as well as the press wouldn't go amiss!

You need to get as many objection letters as possible to the council and the vicar. You need to assemble a health letter for the vicar too and ask to present the info to him. Letters on the health implications to the community also wouldn't go amiss.

sarah p


With regards to the church of England's national aerial agreements can we not go direct to the body in charge of signing this agreement and get them to reconsider what they are imposing on communities all over the nation instead of trying to advise every church and parochial church council. Why are they ignoring the upset they are causing and the handling of the whole process. I have seen articles were they have not gone ahead because of ill feelings that this creates and why in other churches they are still going ahead despite peoples objections.We need to get all people that have opposed the churches across the nation to stand together and target the church hierarchy. Karl (st pauls longridge) bats in the belltower will hold them up for a while ?


Yes we do but we are all fighting on so many fronts organisations both large and small. If you want to take up this one then we would obviously all support you. However you may find that people have tried this in the past and the church are fully aware of what they are doing but are just acting like the government and ignoring us.

sarah p


Have been off-line for a while. I understand campaigners in Bath have gone to a Church of England Court to oppose a mast which delayed things. Not sure if Church Court has decided anything yet. I shall contact the campaigners and see how they did it.


Yasmin Skelt,


Dear Angie.

Go and tell the church vicar that ALL will boycott his sermons if they go ahead, then collect signatures to that end.

This advice was given to me by my neighbor who is a retired vicar, and had the threat of having a mast installed on the top of his “modern” church which did not have a tower, but housed a nursery downstairs.

He said, there is nothing that scares the Church more than a promise of a empty house, void of worshippers, (a bit like a empty rock-concert)

So, he said if you can get people to sign that they will not attend, the vicar will send that to his bosses, who will do some serious re-thinking.

Best regards.



This Mast Sanity press release says it all! But some campaign groups just carry on protesting.



A decision of the Court of Arches to allow the installation of a phone mast on a church in the West Midlands against the wishes of the chancellor of the Diocese, the community, and the nearby school, has sent shockwaves through communities throughout the UK, many of whom have questioned the moral role and place of the church in the 21st century, and the power and might of commercial corporations to override the rights of ordinary people.

Supreme Church Court overrules local decision

In refusing Quintel permission to erect the phone mast on Emmanuel Church in Bentley (Wolverhampton deanery), Chancellor Shand of Lichfield Diocese abided by the concerns of the school and community on the grounds that the church had a duty to give primacy to its worship and mission, and it would not be permissible for the parish in the face of strong local opposition to permit the installation close to King Charles Primary School. He also said the case raised pastoral issues which outweighed the commercial considerations. The headmistress of the primary school had formally opposed the installation and was supported by the governors.

Quintel and their agent, with the support of two churchwardens, appealed the decision of Chancellor Shand (given in the Consistory Court in Lichfield) to refuse them permission, on the basis that the Chancellor had no duty in law to give primacy to its worship and mission. The Court of Arches overruled Chancellor Shand, thereby granting Quintel permission to erect the phone mast stating that Chancellor Shand misdirected himself and should have only taken into account relevant concerns of the community, and not “merely fanciful ones”.

Mast Sanity Press officer Sian Meredith said, “How dare this Court dismiss peoples’ well founded fears, depth of feeling for a consecrated place and personal beliefs as “Fanciful.” The church is there to care for its flock, to put people first, to love and honour people, to give pastoral care and to nurture. The supreme Court dismissed the community’s fears as fanciful in order to allow business interests and financial gain to woo the church into a partnership of shame. This is outrageous.”

Mr David Baron, Trustee of Mast Sanity said,

“This decision goes against all the moral principles and teachings of the church. In reaching this decision, the Court of Arches is supporting the forceful selling of mobile phones to the youth market with the considerable social, economic and health consequences that this entails – and using consecrated property to do it. We have all seen reports of so-called ‘happy slapping’ whereby groups of children and teenagers use mobile phones to record assaults and then circulate the resulting images by phone and Internet. The practice of children using mobile phones to access gambling and pornography is also well known. Finally, the decision goes against the precautionary principle which Sir William Stewart, Chairman of the Health Protection Agency has consistently recommended over the past five years, particularly to protect children.

“We are talking here about the use of churches for commercial enterprises. In this context, we may care to reflect that Christ sent the money lenders out of the temple of God along with the cheats and people charging too much and acting in their own commercial interests. Jesus went into the temple of God and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple and overthrew the tables of the money changers and the chairs of them that sold doves and he said to them ‘my house shall be called the house of prayer but you have made it a den of thieves.” (Matthew Ch. 21)

David Baron goes on to say,

“What is also alarming is that the fears of the community ARE based on worldwide evidence of adverse health implications as well as increasing amounts of research showing negative effects and no scientist or Government advisory body has ever said that emissions from masts are safe.

In dismissing years and years of respectable research that make it clear there are serious issues relating to all mobile phone technology, the Court shows clearly the churches new direction in putting financial gain before the health and well being of communities, particularly the weak and vulnerable. This itself is quite counter to the teachings of the New Testament. I doubt that QS4/Quintel would give a written guarantee to the effect that emissions are safe, and they must accept full responsibility for any health effects that emerge.”



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