UK: Another Rector Beaten Up ‘Over His Faith’

A survey of London clergy by National Churchwatch found that nearly half said they had been attacked in the previous 12 months

A clergyman is in hospital after he was beaten up in his churchyard by three Asian youths*, in an incident which police are treating as a “faith-hate” attack.

Canon Michael Ainsworth, 57, asked the gang to keep their noise down but they turned on him, taunting him about his faith and hitting him in the face and body.

He was found slumped in the churchyard of St George-in-the-East in Stepney, east London. Police said the gang made “remarks insulting his occupation” before fleeing.

The canon, a former member of the Church of England’s General Synod, moved to the area from Manchester last year. Colleagues said that his appointment was designed to improve the parish, which has a large Bangladeshi Muslim population and high levels.


*”Asian” means Muslim.