Inflatable whale gives London parks the hump

Remember that time when a whale swam to London? Well, it's happened again, and appeals are being made to the public to avoid the same tragic outcome.

So waht's happened this time? The Bible Society has revealed plans for a three-door outdoor event along the bank of the river Thames, during which a 50 foot inflatable sperm whale was to be the main attraction.

Trying to creatively engage the younger generations with scripture; the society was hoping to have actors tell the story of Jonah inside the blow-up creature.

However, these plans have now been thwarted by a government agency which manages the Royal Parks across the capital.

"We do not permit any religious observances in the Royal Parks, either in their own right or as part of a demonstration," an official told organisers.

Chief Executive of the Bible Society, James Catford, has criticised this decision, however, noting that the charity does not "seek to impose the Bible on anyone".

"Our mission is about inviting everyone to experience scripture and consider it thoughtfully – we offer the Bible to the world," he says.

"Telling the story of Jonah to children, inside a giant inflatable whale, is intended to be a free, fun event over the summer. The Bible is packed full with some of the greatest stories ever told. We believe that every child is entitled to encounter the Bible. It's a matter of justice.

"We're not about proselytising," he adds. "Children and adults are free to make up their own minds about the Bible. We can't see that there's any reasonable basis for Royal Parks to discriminate against us in this way."

In a statement, the Bible Society has also noted that though the Royal Parks are managed by a government-run agency, they are "ultimately owned by the Queen"; the Supreme Governor of the Church of England and also Patron of Bible Society.

A page has now been dedicated on the charity's website to find a home for the lonely whale to rest, which will become the new site of the event.

"Bible Society's beached whale needs a home!" said a Bible Society spokesperson.

"It's been surviving on the oxygen of publicity for a while but we want kids to have a whale of time hearing the story of Jonah and we can't do that unless we find dry land somewhere in England for three days and nights. Please help save our Whale!"

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