Crowds turn away in disgust as Lichfield Cathedral becomes a canvas to a travesty of a festive display
Artist Peter Walker and composer David Harper have created A Cathedral Illuminated light and sound display only to see it descend into chaos this evening.
Festive images were expected to have been beamed onto the west front, with hundreds turning out for the display tonight (December 21).
Crowds gathered from 5pm hoping to see images from the nativity superimposed on the Cathedral façade.
Local plumber Paul Mycock was there with is three young children, he said:
‘I was expecting this to be a nice event for the kids in the run up to the big day, a bit high brow like lots of the crap they put on in Lichfield but it’s free so what’s not to like?
‘We were all excited as the show was about to begin, but then it all descended into chaos, we were subjected to multiple images of local member Michelle Fabricunt splashing up against the Cathedral walls to the strains of Land of Hope and Glory. The kids started screaming and running away down the Close. It’s a disgrace.’
There will be another chance to see the display between 5pm and 9pm tomorrow evening (Tuesday 22 December).
A local knife and fork salesman has confirmed that he will be sponsoring Jesus Christ in Lichfield this Christmas.
Arthur Price CEO Vincent Price said:
‘Christmas is an extra special time, especially for those of us with a raging God-complex. This joyous season presents numerous opportunities for self-promotion. With the assistance of the Very Very Rev’d Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield, I can announce that I will be partnering Jesus Christ himself this year.
‘When Adrian told me that he had a direct line to God I explained that I had no need to contact Fabricant again. But this new partnership is a truly remarkable deal and will give Jesus a real boost in his marketing profile. Together we will welcome people to the vast array of festive events at which I will be photographed handing over cheques.’
The Cathedral Christmas tree is the focus of various events, including the To Be A Light and St Giles Hospice Light up a Life services. In previous years other local celebrities have make charitable contributions to the Tree. In 2013 local member Michael Fabricunt donated his hair piece during the Parliamentary recess.
The self-effacing spoon polisher is no stranger to sponsorship in his inexorable rise to deity-like status. In the summer Mr Price announced his company’s agreement with the Lichfield Garrick Theatre to top up the £360,000 generously donated by the poor, old and sick of Lichfield and Burntwood to support the artistic pretensions of Darwin Park residents.
‘I have been delighted by the pictures of me and Garrick artistic director Harry Hill that appeared in the local media. We have a packed program for the new season, I’m especially looking forward to “The Life and Times of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley” and later in the year, “The Addams Family: The Musical”.’
Christmas giving started early again this year at Arthur Price. In October the cutlery and giftware firm announced a sale in support of the “We Love Lichfield” Fund. Mr Price explained:
‘The idea is simple, in October we increase our prices by 10% and then if customers buy from our factory outlet during November we donate £10 for every sale over £100 to this fantastic local cause.’
“We Love Lichfield” offers grants of up to £1,000 in time for Christmas. Mr Price, a patron of the charity, he continued:
‘The fund helps support young entrepreneurs who can’t yet afford to be as ostentatiously charitable and well-dressed as myself. Do you like my moleskin jacket by the way? Come on, give it a feel.’
The Utterly Rev’d Doombar commented:
‘It wasn’t an easy deal to negotiate, Jesus was reluctant at first, fearing that he would be overshadowed by Vincent in the selfless giving stakes. I think that it was the complimentary set of stainless steel fish knives that swung it. Amen.’
Lichfield Round Table militant faction, the self-styled District 250, has declared that Christmas is cancelled this year.
Talks between the group and Lichfield District Council to agree this year’s “funding” settlement broke down yesterday (Saturday).
District 250, a dissident band of ultra-right wing egos with relationship issues and an interest in go-karting and archery, has cancelled today’s planned Lichfield Christmas Lights switch on. Spokesman for D250, Dick, his real name, said:
‘We regret that due to the intransigence of the Council we had no alternative but to cancel the Christmas Lights switch on. Our annual running costs have escalated and they will no longer be covered by parading Santa through the streets of Lichfield demanding cash from the poor and feeble-minded.’
It became clear in 2014 that Santa Claus had been kidnapped by the Round Table militants and forced to fund raise for the group each December.
‘It’s a very expensive time for us, we’ve recently returned from Portugal after a week’s golfing holiday and there are many more foreign jollies in the pipeline that need paying for by the local public. That doesn’t come cheap you know.’
Cllr Christmas Spruce, Cabinet Member for Finance, explained the Council’s position:
‘As part of the Council’s F4F (Fucked for the Foreseeable) financial strategy we have had to scale back support for local dissident groups. Discussions with some of these groups have become quite heated. A more disagreeable bunch you’re unlikely to encounter, but after Beacon Community Church this District 250 group come a close second.
‘We tried our best to negotiate a settlement to secure Christmas for another year, we even offered up Michael Fabricant in a hostage exchange for Santa, but they were having none of it. Can’t blame them on that score to be fair.’
Dick denied that they were behaving unreasonably:
‘Why would we exchange Santa for Fabricant? It may not be much but at least Santa bothers to get out to meet the community once a year.’
Further talks are expected to take place next week in a final bid to save Christmas.
Furious London based desk jockey journalists on the Daily Mail have slammed a group of Burntwood yobs who, the Mail claim, have vandalised a Christmas tree dedicated to teen cancer hero Stephen Sutton.
Hundreds of yellow ribbons had been tied to The Sacred Tree which was erected in the late teenager’s town of Burntwood, Staffordshire last weekend.
But just days after his proud mother Jane switched on the lights in front of hundreds of supporters, the winter weather combined with poor tethering techniques caused half a dozen ribbons to be torn mercilessly from the branches of The Sacred Tree.
In response to the Daily Mail’s orchestrated outrage organisers say they may now be forced to erect giant fences around the tree to prevent future attacks by feral youths who had nothing whatsoever to do with the incident and have nothing but respect for the late teen hero .
The yellow ribbons became a nationwide symbol of Stephen’s battle with cancer as he raised £5m for the Teenage Cancer Trust before his death in May. He touched people across the world when a bucket list containing the 46 things he hoped to do before his death went viral.
Stephen died in May aged just 19 after losing his fight with the disease.
His mother, 50, collected her son’s posthumous MBE from the Queen last month.
Family friend and self-publicist Joanne Jarvis, who organised the tree ribbon tribute, said she had been contacted by the Daily Mail and had been left either ‘gutted’ or ‘gob-smacked’ by the incident.
‘I am absolutely ‘gutted’ and/or ‘gob-smacked’. I have been in tears, how can the local climate be so disrespectful.’
‘Following their in depth London desk based investigative journalism, the Daily Mail told us that it was definately the local, probably Eastern European immigrant, yobs who were responsible. But we now know for certain they were pulled off by the wind, although admittedly the batter mix at Sankey’s Fish Bar may be implicated.
‘I am just disgusted, as I’m sure all Daily Mail feeders will be.’
Ironically Mrs Jarvis came up with the scheme to decorate the tree in yellow bows after noticing that those put up during Stephen’s fight around the town had begun to weather.
Now fellow residents are calling for the culprit to be punished.
Jeremy French, 45, a welder who lives nearby, said:
‘It’s disgusting, there is no way you would imagine something like this should happen. Fucking wind and rain in Burntwood in December, the police need to get looking at CCTV and find these areas of low pressure and punish them as soon as possible.’
Anne Timber, 67, added:
‘You just wonder about some people these days, they can barely read around here but they’re buying the Daily Mail and believing every picture they see. I hope they get what is coming to them. If local residents found out who did this I there would be hell to pay, Stephen was such a shining light for our community I can’t help but think his shining light has contributed to global climate change that resulted in the climatic turbulence that tore five ribbons from The Sacred Tree.’
Burntwood Town Council officer Brian Cooper said it wasn’t the first time the town’s Christmas tree had been targeted by the weather.
‘In previous years the winter weather has pushed the tree around but we sincerely hoped that with this year, being dedicated to Stephen Sutton, the Winter Gods of Burntwood wouldn’t do it.
‘However, they have knocked a handful of bows off, which we have reattached.’We hope this will be the end of it. But if it does happen again we will not have much choice but to pick them up and reattach them to the sacred tree.’
Local yobs deny any involvement in the desecration. Lead yob DJ Yobbi Yobster commented:
‘Respect to Stephen Sutton, right, he was a real cool dude and sure welcome to join the posse down on Redwood Wildlife Park nights whenever man. Mind out for all the dog shit and human excrement though, know what I’m sayin?
‘Not sure I do, but we’re good guys just looking for a chance to shine. Please…’
Staffordshire Police confirmed they were investigating and that super arch villain, former BBC weatherman Michael Fish has been arrested and released on police bail pending further enquiries.
The Daily Mail was unavailable for comment as Kim Kardashian has got her arse out again. But not in Burntwood.
Local MP Michael Fabricant was unavailable for comment, safely within the Wall, in Waitrose, so to speak.
Distraught children and parents from the Lichfield area have joined a mounting campaign to “Free Santa”. Campaigners claim that Santa Claus has been kidnapped and is being held hostage by a dissident band of ultra-conservative egos, the self-styled District 250.
Formerly a branch of Round Table of Great Britain and Ireland, a social organisation for middle-aged men with an interest in go-karting and archery, District 250 has, according to concerned local mum Maureen Roberts, gone rogue.
Mother of two, Maureen said:
‘I became suspicious that something was amiss last week at the Lichfield Christmas Lights switch-on. Santa wasn’t driven around the Market Square like he usually is, instead he seemed to be tethered-up outside the George IV pub. When he did appear his beard covered his whole face, it could’ve been anyone!’
Rumours have been spreading throughout the City for some time that Santa had been captured. Publican Paul Pardoe of The Whippet Inn Micropub in Tamworth Street said:
‘The fully-liveried Mitsubishi Pajero had been abandoned outside my pub for months. Fortunately the pub windows become so misted up with fat boozers’ heavy-breathing and farting that you couldn’t see the car unless you popped out to piss up its tyres. But a few weeks ago Old Bob Brown nipped out to sick-up his pork pie and ale and swore that he could hear a knocking coming from the car’s boot. I ignored the old drunk at the time but now I’m beginning to wonder.’
The “Free Santa” campaign was boosted today when FSL was contacted by a man claiming to be a member of District 250. Nick, not his real name, doesn’t wish to be identified but said:
‘I joined Lichfield Round Table a couple of years ago because I didn’t have a girlfriend but do have a passion for go-karting and archery. But things have now got out of hand. Last Christmas Santa said he wouldn’t be doing the driving-around-the-streets thing again this year, the parents were going to extreme lengths to avoid his visits and, in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, young kids were more likely to phone Childline than sit on his lap.’
‘Santa also said that it was a little incongruous that he, being Santa, the giver-of-gifts, was being driven around the streets begging for cash from the unemployed self-employed.’
Nick says that it was at this point that District 250 realised the serious threat to it’s income stream. Santa was kidnapped, thrown into the boot of the fully-liveried Mitsubishi Pajero and parked up at various locations around the City for the rest of the year.
The nightly Christmas Santa tour is now well underway, with the discretely shackled Santa visiting different areas of the City every evening. Nick continued:
‘After 12 months Santa was beginning to exhibit signs of Stockholm Syndrome, he seemed to be actively assisting with the money making plans, he created a website http://www.lichfieldsanta.co.uk even suggesting routes for the tour to take each evening. Now the website has a tracker which show’s Santa’s progress. Ostensibly this is a useful tool, parents can now time precisely when to switch off all the house lights or drive to Tesco. But if you look a little more closely at the tracker map it tells a different story.’
Earlier today District 250 issued a statement:
‘We can confirm that Santa is helping us with our fundraising efforts again this Christmas. We’re expecting to have a very expensive year, what with the credit card bill for the New York trip to pay and plans to visit Belgium, Italy and India next year. Please do all give very generously when we visit your house. If we do not exceed last years target by 24 December then Christmas will be cancelled.’
Maureen has asked children and parents throughout the City to join the protest. She told us:
‘To ensure Santa’s safety we are asking everyone to give generously but please also to take part in a silent protest, holding up “Free Santa” placards as they parade Santa through your streets.’
For more information visit www.lichfieldsanta.co.uk
MP MICHAEL Fabricant is preparing for a hair raising moment in aid of charity in the next few days.
The Lichfield and Burntwood Parliamentarian’s latest prank involves donating his golden locks to the City for the duration of the House of Common’s Christmas recess.
Last month publicity shy Mr Fabricant, 75, took part in Movember – the charity moustache-growing campaign in aid of Prostate Cancer UK – wearing a false “wing commander” during the last Prime Minister’s Questions in November.
This week Mr Fabricant will be donating his hair, which will then spend the festive season adorning one of the Cathedral’s trees during it’s Christmas Tree Festival. Starting at the bottom, the blonde thatch will gradually make its way up the tree as each charity donation target is met. It is hoped that by the big day the well known weave will have reached the very top.
The Bishop of Lichfield Jonathan Gledhill rejoiced: “This is a great contribution that Mikey has made to our Festival, depicting as it does the baldness of the baby Jesus and the gradual progression to a luxuriant full head of blonde hair in adulthood. On another level it also looks a little bit like straw in the manger.”
Resident in Cathedral Close whilst he is in Lichfield Mr Fabricant commented: “What better way to celebrate Christmas than to watch your own peruke steadily climbing up through the branches.” Asked what other bodily part would next get detached in the interest of charity, the MP said:”I tried it with my retina earlier in the year and at my age, who knows what will drop off next.”
To contribute to the cause, visit Mr Fabricant’s fund-raising page at www.alopeciaareatasupport.com