The All Saints Church in Wolverhampton, England, brought forward its Maundy Thursday service to Wednesday to accommodate a group of prostitutes. They offered the shared meal service today to accommodate a group of sex workers who are already booked on Thursday for a drop-in session.
Instead of having the meal on Thursday, churchgoers got to enjoy the celebration this afternoon. Not everyone was happy about the change of plans, however. They consider the day a vital one, as it commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ and the Apostles.
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It seems the All Saints Church is located right in the middle of the city’s red light district, and Reverend Sarah Schofield defends the decision on behalf of the women, saying they needed their drop-in session and that the church supports them.
“We are the only place in the local community where something like this is organized. We want to be a reliable, safe and loving place for women.
“We throw open our doors and offer support as well as going out on the streets with hot drinks to invite women in.”
When worshippers at the church heard the news, most of them were stunned. Rescheduling a traditional Easter gathering to accommodate a group of sex workers was, to many of them, unforgivable and “made a mockery” of the church.
All Saints Church Wolverhampton offers salacious entertainment for Pensioners Tue and Thur afternoons 30% off http://t.co/a0SdZe6XiT
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According to the Mirror, one of the worshippers said that it was “an outrage that one of the most important religious services in the Christian calendar has been moved for a group of prostitutes.”
Another, 67-year-old Arthur Wallace, said he is all for the church helping people in “that awful trade,” but suggested that it would have been better to invite the women to join the normal service along with everyone else.
“To cancel it and move it around makes a mockery of our faith.
“Some dates in the Christian calendar are sacred. Easter is one of those most important times when Christians remember the sacrifice our Lord made.
“Surely even non-believers and sex workers would understand how important that is to us?”
However, it turns out that the prostitutes lost out on a drop-in session when Christmas Day fell on a Thursday last year, leaving them disappointed.
According to the Bishop of Wolverhampton, Reverend Clive Gregory, the decision to bring the event forward was not taken lightly and was made by the church council. He added that there were other churches nearby where people could celebrate Maundy Thursday on the actual day. He applauds the work the church has been doing to help the women, saying that the project has been a great success over the last six months.
“It performs a very important service for vulnerable women and is exactly what Christian churches should be doing to help their community.”
According to the Daily Mail, the church also had support from other members of the Christian community in Wolverhampton in rescheduling the Maundy Thursday ceremony.
Reverend Graham Smith of The Good Shepherd Church brought up the fact that Jesus was all about remembering the outcasts in society. He said that it can be difficult to let everyone know that a change of plan has been made about a drop-in session. If they come to the church and find it cancelled, they might not come again.
In other Easter-related news, the Inquisitr reports that a man was killed recently by his mother-in-law’s tombstone as he decorated it for the religious holiday.
[Image: All Saints Church, Wolverhampton CC by-SA 2.0 Richard Law]