Lent and Easter cancelled by university in drive to remove Christian term names

LSE - Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images
LSE - Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images

Lent has been cancelled by a “woke” university in a drive to remove Christian term names.

The London School of Economics (LSE) has overhauled the titles of its traditional three terms to be more “international”.

Until now, the yearly structure at the university, founded in 1895, has been the Michaelmas term, the Christmas break, Lent term, Easter break, summer term and finally the summer holidays.

This largely mirrors the calendar at other top universities such as Cambridge, Oxford and Durham, as well as at leading private schools such as Eton.

But from next year at LSE, Michaelmas will be renamed as “autumn term”, Christmas break will be renamed as “winter break”, Lent term as “winter term” and Easter break as “spring break”.

LSE said that “these new names use more accessible and widely-recognised terminology, and better reflect the international nature of our community and our broader global engagement”.

The decision by the LSE chiefs follows consultations and discussions which took place last term.

But it has not gone unnoticed that the name changes are all Christian festivals.

‘Ludicrous decision’

Now, critics have rounded on the university’s “virtue-signalling nonsense”, arguing its pandering to the “church of woke” is the latest attack on Christians on Britain’s top campuses.

Simon Calvert, deputy director at The Christian Institute, told The Telegraph: “We have been warning for years that Christians are being pushed from the public square, yet the problem is getting worse.

“Christians and those with traditional views often find themselves silenced or bullied. It’s particularly ironic when this happens at institutions that were originally founded on Christian principles and with endowments from Christian benefactors.

“So, this ludicrous decision by the LSE to rebrand traditional academic terms, by scrapping references to the calendar of the established Church, is more virtue-signalling nonsense that creates exclusion in the name of inclusivity.

“They don’t seem to have given any thought to the message this sends to their Christian staff and students, especially in a sector which has become a hostile environment to those with traditional views.”

Toby Young, general secretary of the Free Speech Union, said: “If this was an effort to secularise the LSE I’d be sympathetic.

“But in reality, it reflects the fact that the LSE, like most British universities, is in thrall to a new religious cult - the church of woke - that is far more dogmatic than Christianity.”

As well as the term name changes, LSE is changing the titles of its five most senior bosses to remove the word “director” and replace it with “president and vice-chancellor” so that international partners can “clearly understand” its leadership posts.

Christmas too ‘Christian-centric’

The new term names will not be adopted until the 2023-2024 academic year, giving managers time to update branding and internal systems.

Campus chiefs across Britain have faced increasing criticism for parting with tradition, especially the Christian links upon which many of them were founded.

Last month, the University of Brighton advised staff not to say “Christmas” and instead call it the “winter closure period” as the festive title is too “Christian-centric”.

Lecturers were also urged in an inclusive language guide to say “a majority-Christian country” rather than “a Christian country”, and “what is your first name” instead of “what is your Christian name”.

In 2021, Worcester College, at Oxford University, apologised to students for hosting a Christian Concern training camp and cancelled a second booking after a small number of students complained.

Christians now account for less than half of England and Wales’ population for the first time in census history, at 46.2 per cent of the population in 2021 - some 27.5 million people - which is 13.1 per cent down on the census figure a decade earlier.