Vicar rapped over TV wedding
A VICAR has been ordered to apologise to his congregation after allowing their church to be used as a backdrop in the racy television series Footballers Wives. The Rev David Dewey charged £2,000 for the use of the picturesque All Saints Church at St Pau
A VICAR has been ordered to apologise to his congregation after allowing their church to be used as a backdrop in the racy television series Footballers' Wives.
The Rev David Dewey charged £2,000 for the use of the picturesque All Saints' Church at St Paul's Walden in which the Queen Mother was christened.
When the programme hit screens on ITV in February, some churchgoers were outraged as they watched their 14th century church amidst scenes of bigamy and violence.
The Bishop of Hertford, the Rt Rev Christopher Foster, has ordered that the money be donated to charity and a formal apology made to parishioners.
Over 5.5 million viewers tuned in to the first episode in the fifth series of Footballers' Wives in which characters Bruno and Lucy, dressed in Pride and Prejudice costumes, were renewing their wedding vows.
However the church quickly became a scene of chaos and fighting and it was this storyline that enraged some members of the congregation who felt their church had been shown great disrespect.
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In February Whitwell resident Pam Richardson said: "I thought it was appalling that such a beautiful church should be used for such a terrible programme."
Another Whitwell resident, Marcus Powell, has stuck up for Mr Dewey's decision.
He said: "Most people I know fully support what Mr Dewey did. It seems to me that one person made all the fuss which has caused a considerable amount of annoyance. It's cost the church £2,000 which is a lot of coffee mornings."
The St Albans Diocese has, however, responded to those who have expressed anger.
A spokesman said: "The diocese asks that parishes seek permission before allowing the interior of churches to be filmed so that it can decide whether that filming is appropriate
"The Rev Dewey has expressed his regret about the filming of Footballers' Wives in his church and has agreed that the payment should go to a local charity.