Page 3, 4th October 1996

4th October 1996
Page 3
Page 3, 4th October 1996 — Canon's mea culpa •
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Canon's mea culpa •

BY JOE JENKINS A PRIEST arimrrran this week that lie might have been wrong to ban a handicapped child from attending her brother's Christening.

Canon Antony Griffiths, parish priest of St Peter's, Marlow, in Buckinghamshire, said that he did not want autistic seven-year-old Clare Brown to spoil the Mass for others with her continuous screaming. When her mother, Jackie, took Clare to discuss her son Robson's Christening with Canon Griffiths, he suggested that Clare, who "screamed continuously", did not attend the Mass.

Canon Griffiths said that he was used to handicapped children "making funny noises" during Mass, but was concerned about Clare's reaction in an "unfamiliar place".

However, he told the Herald on Monday: "Perhaps I overreacted. Perhaps I was wrong."

Jackie and husband David told the Sun newspaper that they will have Robson Christened elsewhere.

Nancy Robertson of Church Action on Disability said: "We try to urge people to make all churches open to people with any form of disability, including those with challenging behaviour. Everybody has a unique contribution to give to the life of the Church."




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