Thursday, 13 December 2007

Church 'fury' over Council 'hijacking' of Christmas

The Church of England has written a spoof hymn bemoaning the "hijacking" of Christmas by a local council.

The hymn, a reworking of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, accuses Warrington Council of forgetting the meaning of Christmas with its choice of Christmas lights.

Rather than invoking a traditional Christmas spirit, the local authority has erected lights bearing the message "Recycle for Warrington".

The Diocese of Manchester said Christians in Warrington, Cheshire, have been "insulted" by the decision to link the festive season with a recycling promotion.

It has accused the authority of "using a secular agenda to remove overtly Christian symbols".

The Bishop of Bolton, the Rt Rev David Gillett, said: "I am quite surprised to see the usual Christmas greetings replaced by the slogan Recycle for Warrington.

"The various faith communities in Warrington all share the common belief that we should care for our environment and celebrate festivals in an appropriate way.

"For the majority of Warrington's population the celebration of Christmas is an important time. I hope that next year the council will reinstate Christmas." Read more
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