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Members had already suffered a setback when the annual parade route from St Peter’s Church through the town and back was cut in half.Police told organisers they cannot spare the officers to marshal the traditional march next month.The theme is taken from references in the New Testament to the Christian being a soldier for Christ.Ramanlal Anand, a Hindu member of the legion, said he was 'shocked' when he heard the song had been banned. I don't see why anyone would have a problem with it at all.'Ian Thorpe, 61, vice-chairman of the Oadby club, said: 'I am not aware of a single complaint ever being made about the hymn being sung. 'If we went to a mosque we would not expect them to change their service to suit us, we would respect their traditions.'Its been sung by the legion since 1921 and its been part of the service since at least 1967.'The parade has people from all nationalities and backgrounds, from Sikhs to Hindus, and bikers, and each one of them is proud to stand there and sing this hymn.'We're a multicultural town and proud of it but this is tradition and to change that out of fear of offending someone is ridiculous.'We know the hymn isn't about soldiers of war, it was written before the wars, but it is symbolic and we should be able to sing it.'It is simply to honour the fallen and one family is planning to stand outside the church to sing it anyway, and I think many people will join in defiance.'Its just one man's decision which has gone against the will of most people, from various religions, who all think we should be allowed to sing the hymn.'In a statement issued by the Diocese of Leicester, Rev Steve Bailey said: 'We agreed the change in hymn with the Oadby Royal British Legion who run this major civic event because members of the community from a wide range of cultural backgrounds attend this parade, service and laying of wreaths at the war memorial.'It is because the legion's committee recognised that people from different faiths served in the Armed Forces that we will be singing All People That On Earth Do Dwell instead of Onwards Christian Soldiers.Sadly I think the church might be half-empty for the service this year - people really do feel that strongly about it.'Onward, Christian Soldiers is a 19th-century English hymn which was adopted by the Salvation Army as its favourite processional.The words were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865, and the music composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1871.
But RBL members claim this year the vicar vetoed the hymn because people at the service would not necessarily be Christian.I wish that he had talked to me earlier, because as I explained to him, there are solutions to problems like this.I told him we would find a physics tuition teacher together.If it isn't broke, don't fix it.'I have been attending that service since I was a child, and can always remember it being sung. 'This year for the first time Oadby Multicultural Group will be laying a wreath at the War Memorial as well as the one I will lay on behalf of the parish and we do want people of all faiths who are paying respect to those from their own faiths and cultures who served and gave their lives, to feel welcome in the service.'I understand that the British Legion branch is now discussing their Social Club members' complaints with the individuals who raised them.'I am happy to discuss the matter with them as well as to provide reassurance that the Remembrance Service in the church remains a Christian service and one in which everyone can feel welcome.'In 2012 another newly appointed vicar decided the hymn should not be sung at the Remembrance Service.Mr Thorpe said: 'There were lots of complaints and it was back the next year.'The Oadby Royal British Legion branch - which is a separate body from the club - has met with the vicar and agreed to Rev Bailey's request to not sing the song this year.