The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has weighed in against The National Trust, accusing it of ‘airbrushing faith’ after it dropped the word ‘Easter’ from its seasonal eggs.
The annual event sees hundreds of thousands of children across more than 250 sites take part in the search for chocolate eggs of all shapes and sizes.
Theresa May is both a committed member of the Church of England – and a member of the National Trust. She gave up crisps, not chocolate, for Lent.
Theresa May labelled the move to rename the ‘Easter Egg Trail’ as ‘Cadbury Egg Hunts’ on the National Trust website as ‘absolutely ridiculous’.
She said she did not know what the organisation was thinking.
Speaking from the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, where she is on a trade visit May said: ‘I’m not just a vicar’s daughter – I’m a member of the National Trust as well. I think the stance they’ve taken is absolutely ridiculous and I don’t know what they’re thinking about.
‘Easter’s very important. It’s important to me, it’s a very important festival for the Christian faith for millions across the world,’ she told ITV News.
‘So I think what the National Trust is doing is frankly just ridiculous.’
It comes after Senior Church of England figures also attacked the move on Monday, with the Archbishop of York saying it was ‘spitting on the grave of John Cadbury’s the chocolate firm’s owner.
‘He built houses for all his workers, he built a Church, he made provision for schools. It is obvious that for him Jesus and justice were two sides of the one coin. To drop Easter from Cadbury’s Easter Egg Hunt in my book is tantamount to spitting on the grave of Cadbury,’ he said.
The National Trust denied it had a role in downplaying Easter and said Cadbury was responsible for the rebranding.
It comes after Cadbury was bought by Kraft, a US food giant for £11.9 billion.
A spokesman said: ‘The National Trust is in no way downplaying the significance of Easter, which is why we put on a huge number of events, activities and walks to bring families together at this time of year. We work closely with Cadbury, who are responsible for the branding and wording of our egg hunt campaign.’
A spokesman for Cadbury said: ‘Each year, our Easter campaigns have a different name and this year our seasonal campaign is called the ‘Cadbury’s Great British Egg Hunt’.
‘It is clear to see that within our communications and marketing we clearly state the word Easter and include it in a number of promotional materials, including our website, where we do also promote our partnership with National Trust at this seasonal time of year. We invite people from all faiths and none to enjoy our seasonal treats, which can be found around Easter time.’