The Lewisham Unitarian Church flies the Pride flag all year round, not just on Pride day, but local bullies have been tearing it from its bracket.

In defiance, James Walsh, Labour councillor for Rushey Green, and the Unitarians have wrapped a tree on their boundaries with the glowing rainbow colours.

The councillor told News Shopper: “At first, we thought it was a drunk person on their way home but the fact that the flag and the structure to hold it were taken, clearly showed that someone didn’t want the emblem being flown.”

Unlike some other religious institutions, the Unitarian Church are LGBT affirming and were amongst the first churches in the country to perform same sex marriages.

Every year they hold a remembrance day for those killed in anti-trans violence and carry out valuable work for Lewisham’s LGBT community.

The Church first noticed the absence of their symbol before last year’s celebration which was quickly replaced.

This year, the weekend before the country’s nationwide observation of sexuality and gender diversity, Lori Walters, who has been chair of the organisation for the past five years said: “The flag, flagpole and bracket” disappeared again.

In defiance, they “decided to show our Pride this time bigger, better and in defiance of the theft, by colour wrapping our glorious street corner tree for the week”.

The rainbow colours of Pride were in place on the tree until Friday.