Asparagus blessing at Worcester Cathedral causes row

image copyrightStuart Purfield
image captionGus the Asparagus Man was part of the St George's Day service at Worcester Cathedral

Worcester Cathedral has hit back at criticism over a service that included a man dressed up as a spear of asparagus.

A packed congregation on St George's Day saw asparagus from Evesham receive a blessing to mark the start of the British Asparagus Festival.

Gus the Asparagus Man was part of the procession- dressed in a giant green asparagus costume.

However, some Anglicans described the service as a "pantomime".

image copyrightBritish Asparagus Festival
image captionThe ceremony took place before a bunch of asparagus was taken to the European Parliament as a thank you for granting it protected status

Pressure group Christian Concern said the scenes in the Cathedral "made a mockery of Christian worship".

"It is all well and good to thank God for asparagus and God's blessing, but to have someone dress up as an asparagus and another person in a St George costume looks very silly."

A post written on the Archbishop Cranmer blog site continued the criticism: "Why only adoration of asparagus? Where's the sprout liturgy, or equality for mushrooms?".

However, Canon Precentor of Worcester Cathedral, Reverend Michael Brierley, said in response: "I think the inclusion of the figure added a bit of colour".

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