Bishop of Grantham says he is thankful Thatcher family able to ‘mourn in dignified way’

Bishop of Grantham Dr Tim  Ellis.

Bishop of Grantham Dr Tim Ellis.

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The Bishop of Grantham, who made controversial comments before Baroness Thatcher’s funeral, says he is glad the ceremony passed without any major incident.

The Rt Rev Dr Tim Ellis told the Journal: “I am thankful that the ceremony passed without incident and that the family were allowed to mourn in a dignified way. This is testimony to the latent good sense and manners of the British people whatever their convictions. The Bishop of London spoke powerfully in a way that all could derive benefit and comfort from his words.”

Before the funeral Dr Ellis said it was a “mistake” to spend a reported £10 million on the ceremony and that holding the funeral on such a scale in London was “asking for trouble”.

Dr Ellis condemned those who held “parties” celebrating the death of Baroness Thatcher but said: “I am not surprised by the parties, which show that events of 30 or 40 years ago still engender that kind of violent reaction because her reign was very divisive and controversial, and people still remember that today.

“In a context where there is great ill feeling about her legacy, we have a situation where we seem to be expecting the nation to glorify that with a £10 million funeral it is asking for trouble. People with extreme views will use it to promote their political views.

“We should be marking her as a person in Grantham and with a more low-key, personal marking.”