A Birmingham vicar has asked for children attending her youth Christmas service to dump the “wise men” costumes and come dressed up as “wise people” instead.
The uproar began after a poster for the children’s Christmas service was put up in St Barnabas Church, Erdington, and on its website, stating that “children are very welcome to come along dressed as angels, shepherds, sheep or wise people”.
Canon Freda Evans defended the choice of words in a statement, suggesting this was the most inclusive solution to the “problem” of the wise men:
They are small children and they determine who they want to be — whether they are boys or girls they make the choice. In fact the early biblical word would have been ‘Magi’ which means followers of Zoroaster, so it is later translations which used the wording.
Evan was ordained 20 years ago “following a multi-faceted background working in politics”, and presides over St Barnabas Church, which describes itself on its website as being a “fully inclusive church”, and that “everyone is welcome”. Church of England Birmingham confirmed there would be no more comment on the issue.
Parents were not too pleased with the virtue signalling from the church. Anita Neale, 49, pointed out that “you can’t change something that’s hundreds of years old. They are being silly”. Debbie Makinde, 41, described the situation as “absolutely stupid. The Wise Men were men. I pray we are not heading for gender-neutral Father Christmas and Jesus. It’s getting crazy”.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Piers Morgan sarcastically commented on the debacle:
I think we can all agree [that this] is a major step forward for life, for society, for the world… We can no longer at Christmas have three wise men, because that is sexist. Congratulations to the Canon, and good luck to all your parishioners, as their lives descend into politically correct nonsense.