Bosses at a shopping centre have said they won’t allow a Christmas crib because they want to be ‘religiously and politically neutral’. Thistles shopping centre in Stirling, Scotland, has infuriated many for failing to recognise ‘the true spirit of Christmas’ by banning the nativity scene that a local religious association wanted to put up.
The Catholic Legion of St Mary’s Association have said in response:
Their reason being that despite heavily promoting Christmas for commercial gain, they “pride themselves on religious neutrality” and so won’t allow a nativity to be present. ‘While we understand that no one wants religious or political evangelists in a shopping centre, the request was simply to have a nativity, which would be manned and anyone approaching could ask about it.”
A spokesperson for the shopping centre:
Thistles shopping centre prides itself on being religiously and politically neutral in its behaviour within the local community and with this in mind we do not feel it would be right to agree to host this type of promotion within a shopping centre. ‘Our customers come to enjoy a leisure activity without being subjected to individual organisation’s beliefs. We will not be willing to reconsider the application any further and hope that this final decision is accepted.”
A Church of Scotland Spokesperson said:
We find it very disappointing that the true meaning of Christmas has been completely lost here. ‘When a shopping centre can focus purely on commercialism to the exclusion of the reason for the celebration of Christmas it is a sad day for all of us.”
Our team is heading down to London to cover the Brexit March and provide live updates leading up to the Brexit vote itself. We desperately need your support to cover costs and recording equipment for the day so if you are able to chip in to help us bring you the best unbiased coverage then please: