Quote:Southwark cathedral, home to gay would-be bishop Jeffrey John, has another fight on its hands. Next week Southwark council will decide whether to grant what is believed to be Britain's first licence to allow sexual acts to be performed in public - at a club yards from the cathedral gates.
The south London authority is eager to approve the application by Wicked, a sado-masochist gay club run by Brian Sheridan, a former police inspector, under new legislation. The cathedral's dean, Colin Slee, is equally eager to see it turned down.
Having revived the Shakespearean name of Bankside, the Liberal Democratic regime seems to want to revive its nefarious reputation as home to theatres, cock pits and prostitutes. If successful, Wicked will double in size to accommodate package tours from across Europe.
Such is the opposition that the licensing committee will sit for four days. Many regular members cannot give up the time and Observer hears pliable, broad-minded stand-ins are being recruited.
The Church has one unlikely ally, however. Committee chairman Abdur-Rahman Olayiwola, a lawyer, has let it be known he is not a fan of Wicked: he's a devout Muslim.
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