And finally… over the rainbow

A bench painted in rainbow colours as a tribute to healthcare workers during the pandemic must be returned to its original dark brown colour, a court has ruled.

The repainting of the bench in a Warwickshire churchyard last summer was made without permission from the parish priest or the parochial church council.

However, the priest in charge of the Mid-Fosse parishes applied to an ecclesiastical court for retrospective permission to allow the rainbow bench to remain, The Telegraph reports.

The consistory court in the Diocese of Coventry has now rejected the bid and ruled that the bench must be restored to its original colour within 24 hours.

The court said it was “inappropriate” for visitors to the churchyard “to be faced with an emotive symbol when respective neutrality in such sacred surroundings is a reasonable sign of respect”.

Glyn Samuel, chancellor of the consistory court, added: “I have read all the messages with care, but clearly I must have regard to the situation in law, without being swayed by the volume of messages in support or in opposition. It is not a situation where he (or she) who shouts longest and loudest will win through.”

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