The National Trust has come under fire after one of its properties replaced the terms AD and BC with the secular versions CE (Common Era) and BCE (Before Common Era).
Avebury Manor and Garden in Wiltshire had dispensed with the traditional terminology in favour of the “politically correct” terms on a twelve-foot-high banner.
The politically correct versions are a direct replacement for Anno Domini ‘In the year of Our Lord’, and Before Christ.
The move was met with criticism by visitors to Avebury House, with staff reporting numerous complaints.
A National Trust member of 32 years, David Pearson, told The Daily Telegraph: “BC and AD go back an awful long way and they work perfectly well. If it isn’t broken, why tamper with it?
“All it does is offend Christians, yet I very much doubt people of a different persuasion, or no persuasion are offended by the normal version.”
It was also attacked on social media, with at least one National Trust volunteer accusing the organisation of losing sight of its objectives and threatening to quit over the issue.
Former Bishop of Rochester Dr Michael Nazir-Ali said using the secular terms “amounts to the dumbing down of the Christian basis of our culture, language and history”, and that only aggressive secularists would object to the traditional terms.
He added: “Whether you use CE or AD, the date actually is still the same and the reference point is still the birth of Christ.
A spokesman for the Trust said: “The National Trust’s editorial style is to use AD and BC when writing dates and this has been the case for many years.”
He said the Trust would be “looking at the way dates are written at Avebury Manor”.