Unholy row as church is used in raunchy TV series

THE Queen Mother s parish church is at the centre of a bitter controversy this week. Fans of the royal family and congregation members alike are outraged at the recent use of All Saints Church in St Paul s Walden. It played a starring role in the popular

THE Queen Mother's parish church is at the centre of a bitter controversy this week.

Fans of the royal family and congregation members alike are outraged at the recent use of All Saints' Church in St Paul's Walden.

It played a starring role in the popular ITV drama Footballers' Wives last Thursday and people from the North Herts parish are fuming.

The show, which is renowned for its raunchy storylines, made no exceptions while on location at All Saints' Church.


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With a Pride and Prejudice theme, it was used as a backdrop for characters Bruno and Lucy to renew their wedding vows, but all did not run smoothly.

The tranquil St Paul's Walden church, in which the Queen Mother was christened, was transformed by the Footballers' Wives' production company into a backdrop of arguments and fighting.

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It is the portrayal of such depraved behaviour alongside a bigamy storyline that has infused such anger among the congregation and supporters of the Queen Mother.

Over 5.5 million viewers switched on to watch the first in the fifth series of Footballers' Wives, some of whom were shocked to see their parish church in the background.

Jenny Mason, of Stagenhoe Park near Whitwell, said: "Most people in the congregation seem very unhappy about it."

Mrs Mason explained that it is the content of the television show that is most inappropriate to its setting in their church.

"I'm annoyed because of what was portrayed in the programme.

"We have a good congregation and a lot of us have family weddings in the church so we regard it as somewhere sacred.

"I hadn't realised the content, if it had been a normal, respectful wedding then we would have been fine.

"I don't know how many people have seen it but those that had weren't happy."

Pam Richardson is another member of the congregation and lives in Horn Hill, Whitwell.

She said: "I thought it was appalling that such a beautiful church should be used for such a terrible programme.

"A bad decision has definitely been made somewhere down the line.

"I don't know who had the say over these decisions."

Mrs Mason does not plan to forget this unpopular saga and will be formally putting her objections to the parochial church council. It is believed that Shed Productions, makers of Footballers' Wives, paid £2,000 to use the church.

Neither the vicar, David Dewey, nor any representatives for All Saints' Church have been available for comment.

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