An 82-year-old man in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England, was so disgusted by the presence of a five-foot cross on public land that he mustered the strength to tear it out of the ground and toss it into a duck pond.
Alan Pickard, a retired lawyer, found himself so offended that St. John the Baptist Church posted the cross on public land in an effort to commemorate Lent that he decided to take such extreme action.
A parishioner was later dismayed to find the cross in the water. So, she retrieved it and sent an e-mail to the village community in an attempt to announce what had happened and to discuss the future of the religious artifact.
Rather than avoiding responsibility, Pickard admitted his actions in an e-mail reply, noting that he believes that the cross should remain on private, church property, the Daily Mail reports.
“I might have dressed the bit of wood up as Worzel Gummidge, but chose instead to pitch it into the pond and if it is replaced will continue to pitch it into the pond,” the culprit wrote in his response (Gummidge is a fictional British children’s character).
In a series of messages sent between the village’s 140 residents, 21 people noted having no issue with the cross on public land, while six people did inevitably disagree with its placement. When these results were sent out to residents in a subsequent e-mail, Pickard sent another reply, renewing his threat.
“If the cross appears on the green again it will end up in the pond again,” it read. “I do not accept the validity of this voting process and I will not yield to the obvious arrogance of the church.”
Now, the Christian symbol is planted on church land, where Pickard says it belongs. While he’s delighted with the result of his protest, some in the town are less than thrilled with his behavior.
Numerous residents who spoke with the Daily Mail believe he could have taken his grievances with the cross being placed on public property to the head of St. John the Baptist Church rather than taking matters into his own hands.
One church member called his actions “sacrilege.”
“I am not religious, but it doesn’t bother me if someone wants to plant a cross on the green. What I do think is that the gentleman should have gone about it in a different way,” said another.
(H/T: Daily Mail)
Cross Photo Credit: ShutterStock.com
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