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World News

Church asked to remove colourful chairs

by Kelly Valencia

A church in London has been asked to remove its bright-coloured chairs after an ecclesiastical judge ruled the colourful seating could cause "puzzlement". 

Church leaders at St Mary the Virgin in north London bought the chairs this summer as part of a special service to commemorate the 150-year anniversary of the church.

The chairs, bought without the Church of England's approval, are upholstered in white, blue, pink and lavender to match the church's exposed roof beams. 

David Etherington KC, in his role as a judge of the Church of England's consistory court, has now asked church leaders to remove the pink and lavender chairs. 

In his ruling, Etherington said the chairs should've been of a "muted" shade as the multi-coloured seating could "cause puzzlement" and "induce thoughts that the church had been unable to find enough upholstered chairs of the same colour".

Speaking to The Times, Rev Marjory Brown, said she was "disappointed" at the ruling as the congregation had raised funds to afford the chairs "quite quickly" and were "very keen on the bright colours"

"We hoped they would be acceptable as they tie in with the church's exposed roof beams, which are bright pink and blue. We thought it was a lovely colour scheme," she said. 

However, she recognised they should have asked for permission before choosing the colours of the chairs. 

"The 150th anniversary was in July 2022, so . . . we wanted to celebrate it, but we went too quickly - our mistake - we didn't have the final go-ahead."

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