Middleton Arena Accused of Modern Day Discrimination

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middleton_arenaGreater Manchester based award-wining events venue, ‘Middleton Arena’ refused a booking for 2016 made by local Christian charity looking to hold a women’s empowerment conference.

Founder of women’s empowerment and outreach charity, Christian Women of Influence (CWOI), Reverend Chi was astounded upon receiving a call from Middleton Arena manager, informing her that the ‘provisional’ booking for July 2016 would be cancelled unless she would guarantee that there would be “no praying and no mention of God”

She said; “I was shocked when I was told that we could not have the venue because we were going to pray and call God. In this day and age, to be refused a booking based on your religion is terrible. It is modern day discrimination.”

CWOI was founded in 2007 with the objective of empowering and mentoring women from across Manchester and around the world. They also have an outreach arm which works to support widows and orphans in a number of African countries.  The organisation holds annual conferences that attract up to 150 women from across Greater Manchester. Due to the success of previous events, CWOI felt that they were ready to book a larger venue.

Middleton Arena Events Manager, Graham Duckworth gave this statement to Vinejuice: “No booking had been confirmed. It is our policy not to accept any bookings of a religious nature. “

When asked why the policy was in place, he responded by saying ” I do not want to discuss that. It is just the company policy” 

Middleton Arena was the venue of choice for CWOI as they have been doing a lot of work with women in the local area. The venue is located in the heart of Middleton town centre and boasts a 500 seat auditorium which provides a fully functioning theatre, music and conference centre.

Reverend Chi said: “Middleton Arena was strategically chosen for its location and because of the many women from the area that benefit greatly from the work the charity does. We would like to think that the venue management would change their minds and accept our booking as they would with anyone else. We do not intend to impose any of our beliefs on the venues staff members. We just can’t believe are booking was not accepted.”

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I think this is an appalling decision by the Middleton Arena. Not only does it confirm my fears of discrimination against Christians it also highlights the equality question: Why do theyhave a policy not to hire out to a religious organisation when it is clearly against the law to refuse do to business based on race, sexual orientation and religious beliefs? I think Rev Chi would be served well by consulting her lawyers!

    • Great news!!! Following the release of this article the arena have now changed their original stance, allowing CWOI (Christian Women of Influence), to hold their women’s conference there next year. A Middleton Arena spokesperson said that they were now “unable to find the original policy” which stated that Middleton Arena would not accept bookings from ‘Religious groups’.

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