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Norfolk clergy query Christmas Day Odeon screenings 

The decision by the Odeon cinema in Riverside, Norwich to screen films on Christmas Day has been questioned by Norfolk’s clergy.

Norwich’s Odeon cinema will be showing seven films over 22 screenings on the afternoon and evening of Christmas Day, in accordance with the national Odeon Group’s policy to open 20 cinemas across the country.

The decision has been questioned by church leaders in Norfolk, who have called the policy unnecessary and sad.  

The Catholic Bishop of East Anglia, Rt Rev Alan Hopes said: “Christmas day is a day for all the family and the extended family to come together to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ. It is the family day of the year. I would be sad to think that a family wasn’t comfortable and able to do things together without recourse to outside entertainment.

“I am sad that on such a day, which is a real holiday for most people, that the Odeon cinemas will be expecting their staff to turn out and manage their centres for them. Everyone has the right to the one day in the year when the nation relaxes and enjoys.”

Rev Mark Fairweather Tall, Minister of Norwich Central Baptist Church echoed these views.  He said: ““Whilst not everyone wants to celebrate the birth of Jesus, Christmas Day is a reminder for everyone of our Christian heritage. Christmas Day stands apart as separate and special in our society from any other day.

“Christmas Day provides an opportunity for stillness and to take a day-off from the commercialisation all around us. I think it is unnecessary for a cinema to open on Christmas Day when there are 364 other days in the year for people to visit.” 

What do you think about the decision by the Norwich Odeon to open on Christmas Day?  Add your comments below.

Photo: © Copyright Richard Croft and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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