The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust is still considering banning bibles from the bedside, despite sending out emails claiming that "Leicester hospitals are not banning bibles" Christian Voice has learned.
The e-statement from Laura Skaife of the Leicester NHS Trust, sent as a stock response to people complaining, said the Trust was "appalled at the reports in the national newspapers stating that it is considering banning Bibles from its wards." Miss Skaife is being duplicitous: the press never said 'wards', they said 'bedsides'. The Daily Telegraph wrote: "The century-old tradition of bibles in hospital bedside lockers could be ended," while the Daily Mail front-page headline was "Hospitals may ban bedside Bibles." Not one paper said they would be "banned from the wards". The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Express, the BBC and Sky News all accurately relayed the Press Association's original story about "banning bedside Bibles."
The papers were completely true and accurate. Taking the bibles out of bedside lockers and sticking them away in a cupboard somewhere else on the ward is precisely what the Leicester NHS Trust is considering. The Trust should have admitted that and tried to defend it, or backed down and withdrawn the proposal completely.
Indeed, earlier on, the NHS Trust spokesperson, Anne McGregor, told the BBC they were "considering where to store the books." Bibles "might be removed from lockers but they would be available elsewhere", she said. That confirms the newspaper stories 100% .
Ms McGregor denied reports that the move was prompted by concerns the Bible might offend non-Christians. It is all about MRSA, she says, despite there being not a shred of evidence that MRSA is lurking on bibles in bedside lockers. If bibles are stored on the wards in a cupboard, so that patients have to ask a nurse to fetch one, the scope for transmission of infection is even greater. In addition, one might think nurses had other, nursing, things to do. As the Diocese of Leicester said, someone may need to reach for a Bible in the middle of the night.
The truth is that the secularists behind this vindictive move are not worried that people might catch MRSA from bibles. They are worried they might catch Christianity, and with good reason. The Gideons, who place the bibles, told us they have testimonies from people whose journey to faith started with a curious peek into that bedside Bible.
So with people of other faiths denying that any of them have asked for bibles to be removed, and Sikh and Muslim leaders actively supporting bedside Bibles, and with experts deriding the MRSA angle (even the most recent independent hygeine report on the Leicester NHS Trust website fails to mention Bibles as a source of possible infection), it is looking more and more as if someone in Chief Executive Dr Peter Reading's management has a secret anti-Christian agenda. Only a militant secularist could be so spiteful as to deny the sick and dying - and their relatives - the comfort of the wonderful word of God.
This is, like all the things God raises us up for, a spiritual battle, and we pray to see God's victory. Gideon director Iain Mair is meeting hospital managers on Wednesday afternoon (8th June) to discuss the bedside Bible ban. Please pray for him and pray the meeting confirms that the Holy Bible may stay in the bedside lockers of the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.
You can email or phone the Trust, especially if you have already had one of their deceitful emails. Please be polite, and stress the wisdom of keeping the Bible at hospital bedsides.
Telephone: 0116 258 8715 / 0116 258 8524
One can possibly reach the Chief Executive, Dr Peter Reading, on 0116 249 0490 (the switchboard)
Cached older BBC report for anoraks!: http://184.108.40.206/search?q=cache
May God bless you - may the Lord grant victory on Wednesday, or raise up a prayer army at the hospital gates!
Stephen Green, National Director, Christian Voice