Chester Cathedral has U-turned on plans to mark so-called ‘freedom day’ and apologised for any upset caused following a torrent of anger on social media.
It announced yesterday that it would be ringing the cathedral bells today between 1.30pm and 5pm to celebrate so-called freedom day.
It comes as Boris Johnson is set to spend the day self-isolating at his official country residence at Chequers after being “pinged” by NHS Test and Trace following a contact with Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who subsequently tested positive for the virus.
Mr Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak, who also met Mr Javid on Friday, initially tried to get around the requirement to quarantine by saying they would join a daily workplace testing programme being trialled by the Cabinet Office.
To mark ‘Freedom Day’, the Cathedral bells will ring tomorrow between 1.30pm and 5pm today.— Chester Cathedral (@ChesterCath) July 18, 2021
There was outrage on social media, with some people wondering if the account had been hacked, but it is clear that it wasn’t.
There were hundreds of comments and shares but here are just a few of them.
That’s very Christian of you. Rather than encouraging sensible things like masks & distancing you celebrate the most insane dangerous idiocy this corrupt gov’t has inflicted on the nation. Just shows how out of touch the church is.— Martin G ??? (@MGouldthorpe1) July 18, 2021
If you rang a bell every three seconds for every one of the UK’s COVID dead, how long would it take before all the dead had been tolled for?— Dr Martin Character Matters (@MartinRemains) July 18, 2021
Is it a Christian thing to celebrate a day that will cause thousands of unnecessary deaths and create even more stress amongst an already tired workforce who have given their all in the NHS. Sincerely hope the campanologists work from home tomorrow!— Howard Park #FBPE #FBPA 3.5% #FBPR (@parkcommunicate) July 18, 2021
U-turned faster than Bojo hand-braking a Vauxhall Nova in Tesco’s car parkhttps://t.co/046XuSBniI— Silver Donkey ? (@StuntRider) July 18, 2021
I thought you religious types were supposed to be in favour of human beings, and against them dying unnecessarily? What’s made you change your position?— Daniel Blake #GTTO #Ex-Labour Socialist? (@KateVasey) July 18, 2021
The cathedral confirmed it’s U-turn late last night in another message posted via Twitter.
It said: “We thank you all for your feedback regarding an intention to ring the Cathedral bells tomorrow marking “Freedom Day”.
“We apologise sincerely for the insensitivity of this plan and for any upset caused.
“The bells will not ring tomorrow.”
We thank you all for your feedback regarding an intention to ring the Cathedral bells tomorrow marking “Freedom Day”.— Chester Cathedral (@ChesterCath) July 18, 2021
We apologise sincerely for the insensitivity of this plan and for any upset cause.
The bells will not ring tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/jiILf7na2G
They then followed up with: “The Dean refused permission for the proposed Monday ringing to take place on hearing about it.”
The Dean refused permission for the proposed Monday ringing to take place on hearing about it. pic.twitter.com/o9OggSApuS— Chester Cathedral (@ChesterCath) July 18, 2021