A rainbow Pride flag on the altar of an Anglo Saxon era church has triggered the first court battle of its kind.
A landmark ruling is expected any day now following a row over whether a rainbow Pride flag would be allowed to remain permanently on the altar of St Nicholas Church in Leicester – now dubbed the “Chruch of the woke”
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MSN reports: St Nicholas said that the LGBTQ-themed altar is a “profound invitation” for those excluded by the escalating row in the Church of England over sexuality, marriage and gender.
However, hundreds of churchgoers within and beyond the diocese of Leicester, even clergy, are trying to block it, with objection letters saying it “will bring the church into disrepute” and “close the door” to worshippers.
The showdown is now in the church court, in a landmark test case that campaigners argue will “open the floodgates” to political insignia on altars throughout the Church of England if St Nicholas prevails.
The row began last September, when St Nicholas announced that the Pride flags it hung from the altar at weekend services were replaced with “something a little more permanent” – a huge “Progress Pride flag” made of fabric.
It was gifted by a congregation member at the All Saints with Holy Trinity church in Loughborough, which rewrote a Christmas carol to be inclusive.
“People were actually weeping in the pews when they saw it,” said Jay Hulme, a local transgender poet and the warden of St Nicholas Church.
Last October, the church was forced to take the Pride altar frontal down and apply for the planning permission, known as a faculty, that it should have sought initially.
With hundreds of protests flooding the Archdeacon of Leicester’s inbox from churches around the country and the world, it has been sent to the consistory court, the Church of England’s ruling body, where the chancellor of the diocese will rule imminently on whether the pride altar can stay.
Sam Margrave, a member of General Synod, the Church of England’s governing council who has led the campaign, fears an “infiltration” in the Church of “moral anarchy, where they’re tearing down biological sex and the idea of monogamous marriage”.
He told The Telegraph: “My main concern is about how our pulpit and our altar table has been hijacked by political activists. Instead of preaching the gospel, they’ve turned it into a church of woke.
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