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Christian teacher relents on threat to 'ban' Christmas

Chris Paul received 500 letters and emails after she challenged students at Lady Lumley's School in Pickering to set out reasons why festivities should not be cancelled.

The religious education teacher admitted her idea had caused a "storm in a teacup" among some parents but the idea also prompted positive conversations about the true meaning of Christmas.

She explained how some children described Christmas in their notes as a time to spend time with family and help people in need. Others "underpinned the Christians values" behind Christmas.

Chris Paul told Premier: "We had this great gift given to us [Jesus] and what happens is we spend more time thinking about the wrapping paper and the celebrations... rather than actually digging down into what this incarnation of God meant."

Paul had told parents there would be "no cards, no parties, no gifts and no Christmas tree" unless pupils could persuade her to change her mind.

She continued: "We had a lot of parents very, very angry that their children were going to lose their Christmas in school.

"Then, we started to get letters from parents to say 'thank you, it made me sit down with my children and look at actually how we celebrate Christmas'."

In a letter to parents, Headteacher Richard Bramley said: "The Christmas Challenge was designed on many levels: social, moral, cultural and spiritual.

"Students had to work together, to discuss and to explore their own ideas and those of others.


"They had to consider the way in which society celebrates Christmas and think about the social problems that arise around this time."

Click here to listen to Premier's Alex Williams speaking with Chris Paul:

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