back to article Church of England schism fear over mobile phone masts

Mobile masts have joined gay priests and female ordination on the list of issues the Church of England would prefer not to have to deal with. The potential schism was revealed on Tuesday in Parliament, when Sir Stuart Bell was asked if the Church Commissioners had any policy on the fitting of radio masts, and admitted that it …


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  1. LuMan

    Stench Pipes

    'Just last week your reporter noticed two stench pipes - sewer chimneys that look like lampposts without lamps - which had been hastily converted into mobile-phone masts. It brings a whole new meaning to the term "gutter talk".'

    ..and you'd get a crap reception....

  2. Paul Hates Handles


    What have a church and a radio mast got in common?

    They both make it easier for people to talk bollocks! \o/

  3. frank ly

    And the radiation pattern of a crucifix is......?

    Couldn't they incorporate them into existing christian symbology (see title).

    They may need a phased array of differently sized crucifixes but with some thought the end result could look quite striking. If you run some carefully hidden wires along an angel's wings (statue thereof), you get a discrete semi-folded horizontal dipole. A suitably sized variation of a crown of thorns would make a cool looking omnidirectional aerial.

    (Stand up, stand up for Yagi, ye aerials of the cross. Lift high his phased antenna, it must not suffer loss......) I could go on but I'd better not.... :)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Divine monopoly

    I can see why they might have an issue with other operators interfering with their previous monopoly on 'messages from on high'.

  5. Stef 4

    Only the begining...

    Soon that angel will be sharing roof space with the mast, a wind turbine, solar panels, a CO2 emissions monitor, and CCTV cameras to catch all the peodophile asylum seeking terrorists we keep hearing about.

    It is going to get very crowded up there.

  6. David Evans

    Wonder if Vodafone gets a preferential deal

    Vodafone is the Church's third largest investment after BP and Shell

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Out of sight, out of mind

    The most important factor in reducing complaints from nuts who can feel the high frequencies giving them cancer is to conceal or disguise the masts. Many are placed within the big price signs in front of petrol stations, making a nonsense of the "turn off your phone" notices on the pumps. The most recent disguise I have noticed is that farmer's feed bins (a kind of silo on stilts) are now being made of plastic so they can have a cellphone antenna built into them on the inside.

  8. Emo
    Thumb Up

    Excellent Father Ted sub heading

    Nice one :)

  9. Pink Duck


    The "turn off your phone" notices at the pumps are a nonsense in themselves. There's never been a recorded ignition at a petrol pump due to a mobile phone. The RF they give out is not enough to ignite vapour. Taxis have much more powerful radios in them too. While the battery could explode, turning off the phone will have marginal preventative effect. The single greatest cause of explosions on forecourts is static discharge.

  10. A B 3
    Jobs Halo

    Oh right, It's England

    You don't 'do' Catholics.

  11. Andrew Culpeck
    Thumb Up

    Looks OK to me

    I think the church has the right aprouch. That is to decide on a case by case basis. If as the photo in the artical showes you can't see the areial and the perishoners don't object to much why not put areals on churches? We live with the radiation for better or worse anyway so the only objection would be being eraiated when in church which for most of us would be never.

  12. John H Woods Silver badge

    Chimney Pot Service

    I have a good chimney pot and poor service. Vodafone, please put a mast on my roof. Never understood the irrational mast protestors. But then I never understood the faithtards, either.

  13. markfiend


    Nice to see that churches are useful after all

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Dat would be an ecumenical matter

    Could start a trend here. The moon shaped thing on Mosques could easily be a Satellite dish in profile. Mind you some wackjobs (who'd be more at home in the 13th Century) would probably object to electronics as it's not in their fantasy book (written by god - obviously in his spare time - would he be classed as a ghost writer?) and therefore must be witchcraft...

    What do we do with witches?

    Oooh your going straight to heck for that one....

  15. Richard North

    Out of sight, out of mind - but it's selective...

    As a radio amateur, I have a decent-sized transmitting aerial in my garden.

    Although I've done my best to minimise the visual impact, local folk know it's there as there's only a 4-foot fence between it and a public park with the footpath right alongside my garden.

    People often ask what the aerial is and what I use it for, and I've never once had a negative response to my explanation.

    People aren't afraid of radio waves, even at power levels 'considerably' in excess of those radiated by cellphone masts... there's something about the fact it's a phone mast that makes the difference - some of the very same people fascinated by my radio gear were up in arms about a cellphone mast planned nearby a while ago, so much so it was resited.

    Couldn't be anything to do with the media's need to create a good scare to sell papers, could it?

    Perish the thought...

  16. RW
    Paris Hilton

    @ Stef 4

    If you go to Google satellite view of the Vatican, you can see an enormous solar panel over the museum entrance area:,12.453789&spn=0.000886,0.001853&t=h&z=19

    Paris, because she's my little ray of sunshine

  17. James O'Brien

    @Stef 4

    How about we combine it all so its an All-in-One Religious symbol:

    Angel with the halo designed to work as a wind turbine, the wings can be the solar panels, the CO2 detector can be its knob, the mast still remains in the jacksie and the camera can be the eyes....with alittle bit of automation in there so the head can turn and follow whoever :)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 19th June 2009 10:50 GMT

    Actually the signs at petrol stations tell you not to use your phone not to switch it off... and the reason isn't the "radiation" its 2 fold...

    in thory pressing buttons can generate a spark which can ignite the fuel (personally I doubt that this is a real issue) and the second is that if you are arsing around speaking on your phone you might not notice that lorry pulling out from the diesel pump and get your ass flattened.

    At least thats what I was told when getting training at shell many years ago.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A church on a hill with a good view over London has a TETRA mast cunningly disguised as a flagpole.

    And in Royston (Hertfordshire) next to the Chequers pub there's a local mini-mast masquerading as a conventional telegraph pole, complete with the traditional trianglular footsteps near the top. The giveaway is that there's no telephone wires going to it, and a small yellow RF radiation label at eye-height. I'm aware of another example of the same guise in Trumpington nr Cambridge.

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