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Fenwick in Canterbury pulls 'offensive' greetings card from shelves

By Gerry Warren

Family department store Fenwick has pulled a “vulgar” greetings card from its shelves after claims it is offensive.

The card, which depicts a vicar sat on a toilet below a two-word expletive, was spotted by a customer who was Christmas shopping with his two young children.

He claims the popular store in Whitefriars in Canterbury “showed poor judgement” in stocking the card, and displaying it clearly for shoppers to see.

Warning: readers may find image below offensive

Fenwick in Canterbury city centre

After being made aware of the complaint, Fenwick bosses quickly removed it from the shop’s shelves and de-listed it from its stock.

The complainant, who did not want to be named, told KentOnline's sister paper the Kentish Gazette: “Perhaps a card featuring a priest in such a situation might be amusing in the right context but frankly it’s offensive in a family store.

“Fenwick is a wonderful shop and an asset to the city but on this occasion they showed poor judgement.”

Gazette columnist The Rev Simon Tillotson, of All Saints Church in Whitstable, is also surprised the department store would sell such an item.

The offending card

“It’s a bit vulgar and beneath a shop like Fenwick to be selling a card like that,” he said.

“They’ve done the right thing removing it.

“If people want to send offensive cards they shouldn’t find them in a place like Fenwick, rather an independent retailer.”

The £1.99 card, illustrated by cartoonist Will McPhail, is described as “lovely, silly humour” by its publishers. It is blank inside.

Rev Simon Tillotson

Store director Nigel Poulton said: “As south Kent’s biggest department store we stock a wide range of products to cater for our very loyal customers.

“Our buyers are encouraged to buy unique and interesting products that are not available in other stores.

“It is definitely not our intention to cause offence to any of those customers and on reflection this greeting card has been removed from display and de-listed. I would like to thank your reader for bringing this card to my attention.”

What do you think? Is the card offensive or "lovely, silly humour"? Email kentishgazette@thekmgroup.co.uk or comment below.

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