Posted on January 15, 2009

“Coronation Street” Bosses Spark Outrage After Hiding Cross for Church Wedding Scene–To Avoid Offending Non-Christians

Daily Mail (London), January 14, 2009

Coronation Street bosses covered up a cross during filming at a 14th century church–because they thought it may offend viewers.

The Rev. James Milnes said the producers asked for it to be removed entirely, but then settled on hiding it behind candles and flowers.

He described the request–made during the filming of Molly and Tyrone’s wedding scenes–as a disgrace.

The cross was bolted down, so the soap’s producers hid it behind candles and flowers for the scene, which was screened on Monday.

Rev Milnes said: ‘I can’t imagine how people would be offended. It’s a church–you expect to see a cross in there.

‘You would expect to see the Koran in a film of a mosque, a menorah in a film of a synagogue and similarly a cross when filming a Christian church.’

Stephen Green from protest group Christian Voice said: ‘It’s absolutely ridiculous.

‘If you’re going to film people getting married in a church, you’re going to come across the odd cross, picture of Jesus or a stained glass window.

‘It’s this sort of stupidity that gives political correctness a bad name.’

Stephen Regan, a spokesman for the Diocese of Chester, said: ‘The cross is universally accepted as a symbol of Christianity, and should offend no one.

‘Christianity and Christian characters are quite often featured in both Coronation Street and EastEnders, so why the makers of the Street should object to a cross featuring during a Christian wedding service does not make much sense.

‘Certainly, Christians throughout the Diocese of Chester continue to revere the cross as a symbol of hope and faith.’

The 14th century church, in Nether Alderley, Cheshire, was paid £4,600 to be transformed into the wedding venue for filming in late November.

Granada arrived with a caravan of trailers, vans, their own security, a double- decker bus dining cart and more than 150 cast, crew and extras.

Soap bosses have admitted covering up the cross was an ‘error’.

A spokesman said: ‘We are looking into how and why this happened.

‘We chose the church because the characters of Molly and Tyrone wanted a traditional religious church wedding service in a quintessentially English church.

‘Covering up the cross was an error and we apologise for any upset this has caused.’

Rev Milnes, 29, who doesn’t watch the soap, said: ‘I want us to spend the full sum of £4,600 on a handmade silver processional cross.

‘I want us to say that the cross was obscured, which is a disgrace–but guess what, we spent every penny from Granada buying the very thing they wanted us to obscure.’