The Canon of Lichfield Cathedral has admitted he was “disappointed” after a service attended by royalty in the city failed to mention God or Jesus.
The service at the Cathedral remembered the Chindits – a group of specially-trained troops who operated behind enemy lines in Burma during the Second World War.
Prince Charles was among the guests at Friday’s service where Viscount Slim addressed the invited guests from the pulpit.
Canon Pete Wilcox, Canon Chancellor of Lichfield Cathedral, wrote on his blog:
“I have to admit to being a tiny bit disappointed by the address. I’m sure Viscount Slim is a good and sincere man. But he managed to get through an entire address from the pulpit in our Cathedral, without every refering to God or Jesus – and from the litte I know about the founder of the Chindits, my impression is that would have frustrated Orde Wingate every bit as much as it frustrated me.
“If we are going to hold these services in our Cathedrals, it is vital that we do so in a robustly Christian context. We must at least address the question, it seems to me, what is the God’s eye view of the events we are commemorating? How does the history we are celebrating relate to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus?”
The ceremony saw Lichfield Cathedral closed to the public due to the visit of a member of the Royal family.
Security teams also swept the surrounding area as the huge security operation surrounding Prince Charles’ visit swung into action.
And while Canon Wilcox applauded the safety afforded to the royal family, he admitted the checks raised wider questions. He said:
“It’s good to know that our royal family are so effectively protected. Every drain cover was lifted, every bin emptied, every parked car inspected, every visitor challenged. But I’m sure I wasn’t the only person left asking how much the overwhelming police presence must cost, and I was startled to think of operations on this scale happening not just daily, but – assuming each member of the royal family receives something like the same service wherever they go – several times a day?”