An angry atheist has ripped down a 5ft cross from a village green in North Yorkshire and thrown it in the duck pond.
The cross had been put on the green in the village of Brearton by the local parish church to mark the season of Lent.
But Alan Pickard, an 82-year-old retired lawyer, said he was offended by it and the church was being arrogant.
In an email to other villagers, Mr Pickard said the “proper place for this artefact is within the church precincts”.
But an unofficial vote of residents showed that only six people objected to it, while 21 said they did not.
Mr Pickard has vowed to throw the cross in the pond again if it reappears on the village green.
At present, the cross is standing in the churchyard of St John the Baptist church.
A church committee member, 85-year-old Josephine Johnston, said: “Of course every one has their opinions but Mr Pickard could have gone about this in a different way.”
A local resident who did not wish to be named said: “I just think it’s absolutely ludicrous, all this fuss over a cross.
“I am not religious, but it doesn’t bother me if someone wants to plant a cross on the green. What I do think is that the gentleman should have gone about it in a different way.”