Archbishop of York in row with Cadbury and National Trust over Easter egg hunt

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has accused Cadbury of "spitting on the grave" of its religious founder. Credit: PA & National Trust website

The Church of England has become embroiled in a row with chocolate giantCadbury and the National Trust over an Easter egg hunt.

Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu accused the chocolate giant of "spitting on the grave" of its religious founder by removing references to the Christian festival from the spring event it runs with the conservation charity.

Cadbury, which was founded by Quaker John Cadbury in 1824, told the Daily Telegraph "we invite people from all faiths and none to enjoy our seasonal treats".

The National Trust said that suggestions it was downplaying the significance of Easter were "nonsense" while Cadbury's dismissed the archbishop's claim as "simply not true".

Dr Sentamu told the Daily Telegraph:

Cadbury's website makes reference to Easter in relation to the hunt in several places, but the word does not feature on the logo for the event.

The National Trust website invites people to "Join the Cadbury Egg Hunts"before adding: "Join us over the Easter holidays to run through muddywoodlands, around mystical lakes and along nature trails on a Cadbury EggHunt."

A National Trust spokesman said:

A Cadbury spokeswoman echoed the trust's denial.

She said:

Theresa May has condemned the decision, describing it as "absolutely ridiculous".

Mrs May told ITV News: