Page last updated at 20:04 GMT, Thursday, 12 November 2009

Carol singers told 'not welcome'

Poster in window
The cards were made for people who felt wary answering their door

Carol singers in Lancashire have been warned to keep away from doorsteps this Christmas in case they frighten vulnerable people.

More than 10,000 cards have been given out to residents in South Ribble and Chorley reading: "Sorry no carol singers, I won't open my door to you."

The signs were produced by the Safer Chorley and South Ribble Partnership.

The move has been criticised by some in the community as going against the festive spirit.

The partnership is an umbrella body for police, local councils and neighbourhood watch groups.

Speaking on behalf of the body, Ch Insp Richard Robertshaw, from Lancashire Police, said: "Singing Christmas carols is a wonderful tradition which we encourage, as long as children are considerate.

I think if people want to come out from their churches and go carol singing, it is polite and and human to welcome them at the front door
Father Timothy Lipscomb

"Similar cards were first used two years ago for Halloween, and they have been very effective. The scheme has been extended, and I hope carol singers will be as co-operative and understanding as the trick-or-treaters have been."

Father Timothy Lipscomb, parish priest for Preston's Minster, was not impressed by the move.

He said: "I suppose we have come to the stage these days where people are becoming solitary and isolated.

"You don't get this great coming together of the street, people don't know their neighbours.

"I think if people want to come out from their churches and go carol singing, it is polite and and human to welcome them at the front door."

A spokesman from Chorley Borough Council defended the idea, explaining the cards were produced for residents who are too nervous or physically unable to answer their doors.



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SEE ALSO
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