HYNDBURN Crematorium’s controversial cross is being restored on the chapel wall on the personal orders of borough council leader Miles Parkinson.

The news that the six-foot by four-foot wooden Christian symbol is returning has been welcomed by the Tory councillor who originally raised the issue.


Former borough leader Peter Britcliffe said: “The climb-down is complete.

“This is a victory for common sense and tradition.”

Bishop of Burnley Philip North, alarmed at the original proposal only to make the Christian symbol available at funerals “on request”, welcomed the decision.

Last month it emerged crematorium boss Ken Moss had authorised the cross’s removal in a £20,000 upgrade of the chapel at Accrington’s Burnley Road crematorium.

Only a smaller version would be available on request to avoid offending non-believers, instead of taking it down for non-religious ceremonies.

After the issue featured in the Lancashire Telegraph, Cllr Moss issued a new statement saying the free-standing cross would remain in the chapel unless families asked for its removal.

Labour Cllr Parkinson said yesterday: “After listening to people’s views, I have decided to have the cross at Accrington Crematorium reinstated and curtains put in place to allow it to be covered if bereaved families request this.

“This is the best option available to cater for those of faith or no faith.

“While I understand what they were trying to achieve, I think it’s important the council always listens to public opinion and for this reason I have asked for the cross to be reinstalled .”

Cllr Britcliffe said: “I am delighted at this U-turn.

“The cross has been part of the chapel since 1956 and its return will be welcomed by the many people who use the chapel .”

Bishop Philip said: “ This decision will meet with the wholehearted approval of the majority of the community, whether they are of the Christian faith or not.”

Cllr Moss was not immediately available for comment yesterday.