Network Norwich and Norfolk > Regional News > National Trust U-turn over Felbrigg Hall Pride badges

National Trust U-turn over Felbrigg Hall Pride badges 

A Christian campaign group that defends traditional marriage has welcomed a U-turn by the National Trust which attempted to force volunteers at Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk to wear rainbow gay Pride badges while on duty.

A number of volunteers refused and, following a public outcry with hundreds of members cancelling their subscriptions over the issue, the Trust backed down.

It had asked volunteers to wear the badges and lanyards in support of its Pride and Prejudice campaign which explores LGBTQ heritage at Trust properties. This included Felbrigg Hall where a recent TV film narrated by Stephen Fry suggested that its former owner, Robert Wyndham Ketton–Cremer, who gifted the property to the Trust, was a homosexual.

Ketton-Cremer's relatives wrote to The Daily Telegraph complaining that the "intensely private" historian and poet, who died in 1969, shouldn't have been exposed as gay.

A spokesman for the National Trust said: “We are making it clear to volunteers that the wearing of the badges is optional and a personal decision.”

They confirmed that volunteers no longer need to wear a badge or lanyard to perform front-facing duties, where previously they had been told they could not be allowed to if they did not wear the items.

Paul Forecast, Regional Director of the National Trust, said: “Asking staff and volunteers to wear the rainbow lanyards and badges was done with our best intentions. We’ve listened to our volunteers and feel that making the wearing of lanyards and badges optional, is the right decision to make.”

Mr Forecast added: “The Prejudice and Pride programme is extremely important to us, it’s important that we share our LGBTQ heritage, which plays an important part in the history of the nation and a vital role in unlocking the histories of some of our places. We don’t want to detract from the importance of this programme in anyway.”

Colin Hart, Campaign Director of the Coalition for Marriage, said: “The British public will not stand for people being coerced into saying things which they do not believe.

“Across every LGBT issue the public is promised freedom of conscience by politicians which is then eroded over time as employers and public bodies seek to advance their politically-correct agenda.

“We hope that this decision marks a line in the sand and that the National Trust will in future concentrate on its role protecting Britain’s physical heritage instead of acting against the wishes of its volunteers and members to promote same-sex lifestyles.”

Pictured above is Felbrigg Hall in North Norfolk.

Matthew Hall 15/08/2017 12:12
I visited Felbrigg Hall recently and saw the video done by Stephen Fry (whom I do like). I felt really marginalised as a principled non bigoted Christian. It felt like an unnecessary politically correct revision of history. Robert Wyndham Ketton–Cremer could easily have been celebrated as someone who dealt with his sexuality in a biblical manner; not hiding it but publicly celibate. Sexual practice today is so far from God's plan and purpose, but we need to be aware that all of us fail in some way in 'thought, word or deed' so none can throw the first stone. Jesus loves all.
I did not understand until later the issue with the lanyards, however I was pleased that the NT change their policy as freedom of expression on issues like this is so important. I was also pleased that Network Norfolk carried this story as the stories of Christians attending Gay Pride marches can sometimes give the wrong impression of biblical Christianity.

Anne (Guest) 18/08/2017 09:42
I am very glad indeed to hear this. I often go to Felbrigg, usually once a week at present and have a possible ancestral links to it. It annoys me intensely that almost every day gay sexual practice is brought to my attention in one form or another. Why can't these people keep it to themselves? The Bible is very clear about God's hatred of gay sexuality, if Christians are not clear on this subject it only has itself to blame when God's judgement comes because of it. Love the sinner but HATE THE SIN! This news is a good start but please, this is only the beginning. Let's keep speaking out against the coercion to accept ungodly sexual standards - for the sake of our children.

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