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Tolpuddle & Corbyn

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Today was the day that Jeremy Corbyn told me I was beautiful. Actually I think he was referring to my speech when he turned to me and said "beautiful", but I was touched nonetheless.

I was at the annual Tolpuddle Festival, organised by the union movement in memory of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, six men who were transported to Australia for starting a union in 19th century Dorset. Five of the six men were members and preachers at the local Methodist church. As a result, the Methodist Church is accorded an extraordinary place within the celebrations.

Wreaths were laid at the grave of James Hammett, the sole martyr who is buried in Tolpuddle (the others returned to England after they were reprieved but eventually emigrated to Canada). I was invited, as the representative of the Methodist Church, to lay the first wreath and talk about the role of the martyrs' faith in their struggle for justice (this was the speech that the Labour leader liked).

For more on this story from our Methodist Vice President, click here.

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