National Trust’s ‘inclusive’ calendar... that excludes Christmas and Easter
NATIONAL Trust members have complained about a charity calendar that excludes Christmas and Easter – while managing to include other religions’ festivals.
The ‘inclusivity and wellbeing’ calendar, which has been provided for volunteers, includes Hinduism’s Diwali, and Islam’s Eid and Ramadan. But there is no sign of the Christian holidays.
The calendar was objected to at the National Trust’s annual general meeting at the weekend, alongside issues about the charity increasingly focusing on gay history and the slavery links of its historic properties.
A spokesman for the trust, however, insisted that Christmas and Easter remain very much dates in its diary, and in print in numerous publications – but that the special calendar is designed to help broaden the range of events offered at attractions.
The unusually heated annual general meeting took place at the STEAM museum in Swindon on Saturday. To a round of applause, trust member David Lamming said that a volunteer had raised concerns with him about the ‘inclusivity calendar’.
Mr Lamming said: ‘It doesn’t include the Christian festivals of Christmas and Easter. Can we have an explanation please for those being omitted?’
One of the applauding audience members observed that the calendar was an indication the trust had gone ‘too woke’.
But a National Trust spokesman said of the calendar: ‘This internal guidance is specifically designed to supplement the National Trust’s year- round programming that includes Christmas and Easter.
‘It enables our teams to mark more religious and cultural festivals, to serve local communities and allow everyone to learn about and enjoy different cultures. We are proud to host some wonderful celebrations for Eid, Diwali, Hanukkah and other occasions.’
The meetiong also saw retired Supreme Court judge Jonathan Sumption fail to win a place on the charity’s overseeing council. Lord Sumption was endorsed by National Trust faction Restore Trust, established amid concern at increasingly ‘political’ decisions being taken by the trustees.