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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 June, 2004, 18:29 GMT 19:29 UK
Vicar thanks God for EU results
St Matthew's Church (pic by Dr John Crang)
St Matthew's Church has an "eclectic congregation of 100 souls"
An anti-EU vicar has held a special Sunday service, in which he thanked God for the European election results.

The Reverend Philip Foster said the UK Independence Party's success showed the tide was turning and Europhiles could be beaten.

Mr Foster wrote to the congregation of St Matthew's Church, Cambridge, inviting them to the thanksgiving as a "sign of God's mercy on our country".

The invitation was printed in UKIP's purple and gold colours.

Letter

Around 50 or 60 people turned out for the service, Mr Foster told BBC News Online, "maybe ten times the usual number".

In his letter to the congregation he said: "I thought after the European election results that it might be good to have this service of thanksgiving.

We need to recognise that ultimately it is by God's mercy we are seeing this change
The Reverend Philip Foster

"I believe that we have seen the tide turn for this country, but as Churchill remarked after El Alamein (when the Germans were at last perceived as being beatable) 'this is the end of the beginning'."

Mr Foster said it had been shown that the EU's proponents were beatable.

"But we need to recognise that ultimately it is by God's mercy we are seeing this change and that it would be right to give Him thanks."

He said the Bible warned of a coming global empire, and the EU was a part of this.

The church website describes "an eclectic congregation of about 100 souls who like to worship with a blend of traditional hymns and modern music within a freely structured style".

The Green Party had revealed the service was being held.

A spokesman later said: "This sort of thing has no part in a rational critique of the shortcomings of the EU."


SEE ALSO:
Blair strengthened by UKIP?
16 Jun 04  |  Politics
Leaders meet MPs over EU results
14 Jun 04  |  Politics
Q&A: UK Independence Party
14 Jun 04  |  Politics


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