A cardboard cut-out is no match for a real vicar, say the church-goers of Essex.
Two Christians from London will be part of a landmark case on religious freedom at the European Court of Human Rights later.
Ken Livingstone has called for Londoners to be united after claiming that it's the 'Muslims turn now' to be discriminated against.
– Dave Landrum, director of advocacy for the Evangelical Alliance
The court's recognition of Christian belief in everyday life is welcome, but in only finding in favour of Nadia Eweida, it has shown a hierarchy of rights now exists in UK law.
The failure of the court to protect the religious freedom of Lillian Ladele in living out her faith in a way consistent with historic Christian belief shows the limitations of this judgment.
Delighted that principle of wearing religious symbols at work has been upheld – ppl shouldn't suffer discrimination due to religious beliefsFrom @David_Cameron on Twitter:
While cross-wearing BA employee Nadia Eweida enjoyed victory at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), three other Christians lost their cases, including hospital nurse Shirley Chaplin, who had been prevented from wearing a cross visibly around her neck.
They will be appealing today's judgment at the ECHR's Grand Chamber.
Speaking at a news conference in central London, Ms Chaplin said she was "very disappointed" by the judgment but heartened that other Christians can now wear a cross in the workplace.
She said she still feels that other religions are given more freedom in the workplace and called upon David Cameron to live up to a promise to change the law to protect cross-wearers.
– Shami Chakrabarti, director of human rights group Liberty
Today's judgment is an excellent result for equal treatment, religious freedom and common sense. Nadia Eweida wasn't hurting anyone and was perfectly capable of doing her job whilst wearing a small cross. She had just as much a right to express her faith as a Sikh man in a turban or a Muslim woman with a headscarf.
British courts lost their way in her case and Strasbourg has actually acted more in keeping with our traditions of tolerance. However the Court was also right to uphold judgments in other cases that employers can expect staff not to discriminate in the discharge of duties at work.
British Airways employee Nadia Eweida had argued the airline's denial of her wearing a cross contravened articles nine and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibit religious discrimination and allow "freedom of thought, conscience and religion".
Lawyers for the Government, which contested the claim, argued her rights were only protected in private.
But judges today ruled there had been a violation of article nine (freedom of religion), by five votes to two.
After being sent home in September 2006 for displaying the silver cross around her neck, Ms Eweida returned to work in customer services at Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5 in February 2007 after BA changed its uniform policy on visible items of jewellery.
The video complains:
"We have a lot of weddings, but we've got no vicar.
"We have a lot of baptisms, but we've got no vicar.
"We've got a lovely Church of England primary school, but we've got no vicar."
Church-goers decided to create the video after an initial job advert failed to prompt any applications.
St Andrew's Church in Bicknacre - one of the two churches where the new minister would be working - said that it hoped the video would give potential applicants a better understanding of the parish.
– St. Andrew's Church - Bicknacre
" We advertised the vacancy in the summer and have had no applications at this time. But we are not disheartened, as we have faith that God will provide the right person (and we hope that anyone considering the position does too!). Although we have tried our best to summarise the parish in the parish profile, we hope that the videos below will help anyone interested in this position understand a bit more about our parish. "
The closing date for applications is the 8th of November 2012.
The Essex parish is looking for a new Associate Minister, with duties including:
developing and growing the churches
evangelising, through the parish sports teams
developing a ministry of prayer and Bible study.
But it is quite clear that he or she will also need a good sense of humour.
Alongside the formal job description on the Chelmsford diocesan website is a comical YouTube video, in which local church-goers spell out - quite literally - why there has been a hole in parish life without a vicar. It's performed complete with a cardboard cut-out clergyman and humourous out-takes.