TABLOID journalism often employs what lawyers like to call the “post hoc fallacy” derived from the Latin phrase "post hoc ergo propter hoc" which literally translates as "after this, therefore because of this.”

It’s a legal and logical fallacy beloved not only of tabloids but also by those engaged in culture wars who argue that one thing follows the other, therefore it was caused by the other. But it's not always true. In fact, it's hardly ever true.

Take for instance the case of St Mary’s Church in Beverley which has recently received permission to replace worn out carvings in the church with new figures such as the Queen. The 16th Century carvings at the Grade 1 listed church have become so badly eroded over the years it is impossible to see what they are meant to depict. So the vicar and churchwardens applied to have a new set of carvings honouring a range of inspirational women such as Crimean War nursing pioneer Mary Seacole, scientist Marie Curie, airship designer Hilda Lyon as well as the Queen.

This entirely sensible and uncontroversial plan was approved by the Chancellor of the local diocese and judge of the Consistory Court who in giving permission stated that he was “entirely satisfied that the petitioners have made out the case for their proposal”.

Unfortunately for the team at St Mary’s, the reports of the approval of their plans came days after the Church of England published guidance for parishes and cathedrals who wish to explore issues of contested heritage relating to their buildings, not least in relation to items connected with the transatlantic slave trade and racism.

The guidance has been welcomed by many churches across the country evaluating their own memorials and monuments, but such guidance played no part in the plans put forward by St Mary’s.

Yet for peddlers of the “post hoc fallacy” the plans for the new carvings have been cited as an example of politically correct wokery because of the inclusion of Mary Seacole – the Jamaican-born nurse who tended to the wounded in the Crimean War and in a 2004 BBC poll was voted the greatest black Briton. It’s only because of the guidance that St Mary’s plans have been made, critics argue – promoting the post hoc fallacy – and wilfully ignoring the facts.

If it’s true that ‘there are none so blind as those who will not see’ then surely that epithet needs to be applied to the self-appointed warriors in culture wars, so quick to cry foul at any action which seems to them to promote positive change.

The people of St Mary’s Beverley will continue their good work in building a church which honours the best of us seeking not so much as to rewrite the past but to carve out the future. In doing so they will encounter the rising dissonant sound of populism, the resounding gong and clanging cymbal – those voices William Shakespeare labels in Macbeth as full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

In opposing those voices, St Mary’s new figures will be a reminder of the triumph of those whose lives of quiet duty offer so much more than their screeching critics.

L The Rev Arun Arora is the vicar of St Nicholas’ Church in Durham