Vicar Offers to Cover up Jesus for Ramadan
Christians have reacted with fury after a Church of England vicar offered to cover up a crucifix and a painting of Jesus in order to host Muslims celebrating the end of Ramadan in a church.
Female reverend Lissa Scott also agreed to set up sex-segregated spaces for guests to engage in Islamic prayer in St Matthew and St Luke’s church in Darlington.
At a planning meeting in May, attended by the Rev Lissa Scott and councillor and former mayor, Gerald Lee, representatives from the Yorkshire town’s Muslim community were told that the church would cover crosses and a famous devotional image of Jesus Christ by William Holman Hunt for the inter-faith event.
Reverand Lissa Scott with her Husband Nigel.
Cllr Lee, a Conservative party member, said: “Gathering with Muslims in a Christian Church is an important step in bringing communities together so we do hope that you can see the importance of this event for everyone and compromise a little by using what our church has to offer.”
Gavin Ashenden, a bishop of the Episcopal Church and a former chaplain to the Queen said: “When Muslims come into our church, we invite them to come in and respect Jesus. If we accepted an invitation to go into a mosque, we would respect Muhammad.”
“We do not expect them to disrespect Jesus by covering him up and no vicar should either,” he added.
Christian Episcopal Church Bishop Gavin Ashenden criticised the plans because of the disrespect caused by covering up Jesus.
'When Muslims come into our church, we invite them to come in and respect Jesus. If we accepted an invitation to go into a mosque, we would respect Muhammad,' he said.
The diocese of Durham intervened in the matter, stating that church law does not permit acts of worship by non-Christians in a Church of England building.