A Church of England vicar sparked controversy when she offered to cover up an image of Jesus and a crucifix in honor of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The Sunday Times reports that Rev. Lissa Scott and Gerland Lee, a former mayor of Darlington, were planning on hosting a Ramadan celebration at St. Matthew and St. Luke’s church in Darlington on June 2.

The goal of the event was to celebrate diversity.

Muslim men from a nearby mosque were invited to pray in the church, while Muslim women were offered space in adjoining rooms.

According to the newspaper, church leaders also offered to cover up a cross and a well-known image of Jesus depicted as “The Light of the World” by artist William Holman Hunt.  

However, the Diocese of Durham stepped in and told the church it cannot host the Ramadan celebration.

A spokesperson for the diocese told Premier: “While it is vital to build good interfaith relations, it is clear that an act of worship from a non-Christian faith tradition is not permitted within a consecrated Church of England building.” 

“This is a legal position outlined in Canons B1/2/3 and B5 Section 3 where it states: ‘all forms of service used under this Canon shall be reverent and seemly and shall be neither contrary to, nor indicative of any departure from, the doctrine of the Church of England in any essential matter’.”

The spokesperson said the Muslim prayers will be held in a nearby building, then the whole community will meet at the church “for a celebratory meal inside.”

Rt. Rev. Dr. Gavin Ashenden, a former chaplain to the Queen, condemned the initial decision to host the Ramadan prayers.  

“They realise that the vicar made a silly mistake, but I’m glad it happened because it raises in the public eye some important issues which people need to work through,” he said. “Islam and Christianity are not Abrahamic cousins in Middle Eastern religion. They’re actually antithetic to each other.”

Click here to KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE weekly newsletter.

Date published: 24/05/2019
Written by: Emily Jones
Article source: www1.cbn.com


  1. The United Kingdom and many other countries have gone to the dogs. Strong words I know but I am from there the UK and I speak from firsthand experience when I travel back and forth from SA. The Queen is said to be the Defender of the Faith. Open a Bible up on the street however and nine times out of ten a Police Officer or Community Safety Officer will come to you and ask you to put it away. If you bring sound understanding to the authorities there and then they will not entertain you. They warn that you could be arrested under a Public Order Act for the possibility of causing a disturbance. Breach of the Peace. I have experienced this first-hand standing and preaching with evangelists who are often spat at by the very public that they are trying to save. To cower and cover the Cross of Christ is literally pandering to Islam and or any other so that they feel secure in their gods the Church continues to bring shame upon itself there and as I said in other places too. Not only having to contend with the LGBT and Athiest movements but Islam and much more, by covering the Cross you are literally making a statement, that you too are covering up the light of the world. Let you, therefore, be warned that when you stand in judgement you just may be shown a dark covered door, but in that case, it opens into an abyss. Remember that the Cross is a place that millions have gladly been pinned to for the sake of our saviour, let alone Him also having been nailed thereon as well. I am ashamed at the way things are going but it is prophesied; the falling away is well underway. Like a tree in a high wind, the leaves, like people fall quickly. Only those close the root will prevail. All Glory to God. Amen!

  2. To think that these people can even think of inviting Allah worshippers to come and worship him in the Church of God is beyond belief. Are they just playing Church? Covering up the cross on Ascension Day? Clearly they do not know the God of the Bible for how can they invite them into the Church of God. People renowned for killing Christians. I am truly speechless.

  3. (Islam and Christianity are) “actually antithetic to one another.” At last someone has said it. Unfortunately, he/she did not explicitly say on what point they are antithetic to one another. A.C. Becker

Comments are closed.