Penn clergyman in second ‘hate-speech’ clash with police

PENN Free Methodist minister Peter Simpson hit out at police in the national press this week after one of the pastors he was preaching with was arrested in Uxbridge High Street for alleged hate speech.

Police told Pastor John Sherwood, aged 71, they had received complaints from passing members of the public alleging he was making “homophobic comments.” He was later released without charge. 

Mr Simpson told the Daily Mail: “Everything he said was bible based. He was quoting Genesis 1:27. He was not saying anything abusive; he is a Christian minister. If there was a Pride parade in Uxbridge the police would support it even if Christians were offended.”

The Met Police said: “A number of people approached officers with concerns about the man’s language. He was arrested on suspicion of an offence under Section 5 of the Public Order Act. A file has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for review.”

This is the second such incident involving Mr Simpson in recent months. In December police in High Wycombe took his details after a member of the public complained that his language contained “hate crime sentiments” while he was preaching in the High Street. No arrests were made. 

Official local Covid death toll

THE OFFICE for National Statistics has produced official local figures for the number of people who have died from Covid 19.

The figure comes from an examination of death certificates where the main cause of death was given as Covid. It does not include those who may have died having contracted the virus but whose death was not principally because of it.

In the 13 months from the beginning of March last year to the end of March this year the number was 12 in the Penn/Knotty Green/Holmer Green area; ten in Hazlemere and two in Tylers Green.

The number of deaths in neighbouring areas was Downley 33; Beaconsfield 35;  Flackwell Heath 13; Terriers and Amersham Hill 17; Bowerdean, Totteridge and  Micklefield 26;  Ryemead and Wycombe Marsh 20; Loudwater and Wooburn Green 14; Bourne End 11; Lane End and Booker 25; and central High Wycombe  (town centre, Castlefield,  Sands) 48.

The number of new cases was three or less in and around Penn, Tylers Green and Hazlemere last week. In Buckinghamshire as a whole there were 16 new cases reported yesterday and last week one death. The total number of deaths from Covid in Buckinghamshire has been put at 1,211.


Pubs close – With only outside dining and drinking allowed at the moment, both the Red Lion in Penn and the Old Queen’s Head in Tylers Green  closed on Wednesday because of the cold and wet weather.

MP’s funeral – The funeral of former Penn MP Dame Cheryl Gillan took place in Derbyshire on Tuesday. Dame Cheryl, 68, died on 5 April after a long battle against cancer. She was the Chesham and Amersham MP for 29 years.

Festival star – Penn Festival announced this week that Craig David will headline its Friday night session on 23 July. It’s already been announced the Saturday night headliner is Rag n Bone Man.

Voting probe – Police confirmed yesterday they were investigating “multiple” reports of postal vote fraud in our neighbouring ward of Totteridge for next week’s local elections. Police also investigated alleged corrupt election practices in the Wycombe constituency in the 2019 general election although prosecutions did not follow.

Road blocked – Gravelly Way, Penn was blocked early on Tuesday morning when a car overturned just before 6am and ended on its roof. No one was injured.

Road repairs – Cock Lane, Tylers Green, will be closed next weekend (8 and 9 May) to enable the numerous potholes to be filled in.

Shopfront goes – Plans have been submitted to replace the old shopfront style windows at The Corner House in Church Road, Tylers Green with a wrap-around single storey extension. The building has been a residence for a number of years but before then was the Horology Shop and before that was for many years Grover’s shoe shop.

Parking objections – Parish councillors objected this week to two planning applications to extend houses in Tylers Green – at 21 The Greenway and 66 New Road – because they say there are inadequate parking arrangements. 

Memorial bench – Parishioners in Penn Street have raised funds to place a bench in the churchyard of Holy Trinity in memory of the Rev Nigel Stowe, a former vicar of Penn Street for 26 years, who died earlier this year.