In Oxford, they seem unable to tell the difference. (We lived on Cowley Road for three years.)
A council has apologised after it cancelled a Good Friday Passion Play because it thought it was a live sex show.
Oxford City Council pulled the plug on The Cowley Road Passion Play when an official said organisers from St Mary and John church and St Stephens House college could be committing an offence without the proper council permits.
Oxford City Councillor and United Reform Church pastor Dick Wolff told theOxford Mail: “Unfortunately, one of the city council’s licensing officers didn’t recognise that a Passion play on Good Friday was a religious event.
“I think he thought it was a sex show, so he said it may be committing an offence.”
Organisers expressed their “great disappointment and frustration” at the “intractable situation” after the play was called off on 12 April, less than a week before it was due to be performed.
The community performance of the Passion of Christ, which details the suffering and death of Jesus at the crucifixion, was last held in 2012 without a licence.
The council’s licensing team leader, Julian Alison, said he was sorry for cancelling this year’s event, the OxfordTimes reported.
“I would like to apologise for a wrong decision that I made late on Friday afternoon in relation to the planned Passion Play on Cowley Road,” he said.
“At the time of processing the application, I did not appreciate that this was a religious event.