A local council is set to remove a cross from a crematorium window to make it more ‘inclusive’ – even though no one appears to have ever complained about the Christian symbol.
The plan, at Haycombe Crematorium in Bath, has prompted concern from residents with one warning of “creeping secularisation”.
The council is planning instead to provide a mobile cross for mourners who want one, despite there being reportedly no objections to the permanent cross which is featured in a window.
One of the locals who has expressed disquiet at the proposed move is Hugh Mackay, who lives near the crematorium.
He said: “It seems there is a determined secular campaign to try and obliterate our religious heritage in our country.
“The council says it is not to upset people of all faiths but I’ve talked to Hindus, Muslims and Jews and none of them have ever complained.
“They all respect the cross as a symbol of the Christian faith. Some of us feel very strongly that this is a deliberate attempt by the council to downplay our Christian heritage and that we should make our views known.”
Conservative councillor Colin Barrett said: “There are blinds on the window. If anyone did object to the cross, all you’d need to do is lower the blinds.
“But no one, to my knowledge, has ever objected.”
And Edgar Evans, who is from Bath, said: “We remain a Christian country but this is an example of creeping secularisation.”
The proposed move is part of a major refurbishment at the crematorium.
A spokesman for Bath and North East Somerset Council said they had consulted local funeral directors and ministers and had also taken into account “our own feedback from customers”.
The spokesman continued “the consensus was that the chapel should be a setting where all faiths, including those who are not religious at all, can adapt the surroundings to suit the wishes of their loved ones”.