Obviously, any building created by the state at the behest of its citizens should be faith-neutral. It’s a given, it goes without saying, so why say it?
Because the Co-op seems to have fallen foul of an unholy alliance of some townspeople of Shrewsbury in the matter of its £1.7 million refurb of the town’s crematorium.
Built in unenlightened times, Shrewsbury crem is distinguished, as you can see from the photo, by a large cross on its steeply pitched front gable, and another on its chimney of all places.
Reading between the lines of the newspaper report it looks as if the Co-op had quite properly resolved to get rid of the crosses until local vicar Revd Murray McBride assembled a posse of, I don’t know, Christian conservationists or somesuch, and, by means which are not described, corrupted the moral fibre of the Co-op and caused it to backtrack. Said a Co-op spokesperson, “The Co-operative Group is not altering the crematorium in any other way so we are able to confirm that the chimney and crosses will remain.”
We don’t question the earnest wellmeaningness of the Revd McBride, but sorry, mate, you don’t speak for everyone. A cross can only ever be an opt-in.
McBride asserts that “From a design point of view [the crematorium] is a great example of a building from the 1950s or 60s and the crosses form an integral part of that.”
What do you think?
Story in the Shropshire Star here