Charles Moore

The National Trust is compromised by its own success

The National Trust is compromised by its own success
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Cadbury and the National Trust stand accused of taking the Easter out of Easter eggs. The Trust’s ‘Easter Egg Trail’ is now renamed the ‘Cadbury Egg Hunt’. My little theory about the National Trust is that all its current woes result from the tyranny of success: it has become so attached to ever-growing membership (now more than four million) that everything is skewed to this and the original purposes are neglected. No doubt the substitution of the word ‘Easter’ by the word ‘Cadbury’ seemed a small price to pay for big sponsorship. This decision is a symptom of the Trust’s problem. But for the fate of Easter itself, one need not worry. Think of Luther’s hymn ‘A safe stronghold’, as translated by Carlyle (and updated, in one spelling, by me). The ‘Prince of ill’ and his junior devils cannot prevail because ‘God’s word, for all their Kraft and force,/ One moment will not linger,/ But spite of hell, shall have its course,/ ’Tis written by his finger.’

This is an extract from Charles Moore's Notes, which appears in this week's magazine