Sunday 22 April 2018

The Church of England v Cadbury and the National Trust: Here's what the British people make of the Easter argument

By Edward Dracott

What’s in a name? Quite a lot apparently.

Easter is synonymous with chocolate, Christianity and egg hunts – but this year representatives of these three elements have rather fallen out.

The Church of England has been angered by chocolate giant Cadbury and the National Trust dropping the word “Easter” from their annual egg hunt.

Cadbury was founded by John Cadbury, a Quaker, in 1824 – and 300 egg hunts will be held at National Trust properties this year.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, has accused Cadbury of “spitting on the grave” of its religious founder by renaming the Easter tradition the “Great British Egg Hunt”.

The chocolate company replied to the Archbishop by saying: “We invite people from all faiths and none to enjoy our seasonal treats.” It added that it’s “simply not true” that the word Easter has been removed from marketing and communication material – it’s mentioned on the company’s website and in its advert for the campaign.

Meanwhile, the National Trust branded claims that it is playing down the significance of Easter “nonsense”.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” said a National Trust spokesman. “A casual glance at our website will see dozens of references to Easter throughout.”

Even Prime Minister Theresa May got involved – and very much on the side of the Church.

“I’m not just a vicar’s daughter – I’m a member of the National Trust as well,” May told ITV News. “Easter’s very important. It’s a very important festival for the Christian faith for millions across the world. So I think what the National Trust is doing is, frankly, just ridiculous.”

So, what does the public think?

Well, some are certainly on the side of the Church – with some even threatening to cancel their National Trust membership.

However, a lot pointed out that Easter has not been omitted from the promotion entirely – just its name.

Which made one or two feel a bit sorry for Cadbury and the National Trust – specifically their social media teams.

Another gently reminded us what the Christian holiday is about – while also proposing something rather shocking.

Think of the children, sir.

Another, we think, was being sarcastic. Maybe.

And some just reckon the whole row is a bit too much like watching the poshest of sports…

It might be some time before tensions over this issue are fully resolved – so just sit back and watch Jeremy.

Press Association

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