(Telegraph) Parents boycott church after Parish curate says Santa is not real

Parents have spoken of their disgust after a clergywoman told children that Father Christmas is not real.

Rev Margaret McPhee made the mistake during a choir concert for primary school children from Stalham Academy, in Norfolk.

During the service at St Mary’s Church in the town, the curate asked pupils what they thought Christmas was about.

When one child said “Father Christmas”, she replied that he was make-believe and not real.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Children, Church of England (CoE), Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture

6 comments on “(Telegraph) Parents boycott church after Parish curate says Santa is not real

  1. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Ho ho ho. No presents for Rev Margaret McPhee this year. Ho ho ho.

  2. Catholic Mom says:

    What I find strange is that this was never thought about before. I mean this is not something that should have just popped into her mind for the very first time. It’s hard to believe that she and/or her church didn’t have a “Santa” policy to begin with.

    My approach with my kids (and the approach taken by everyone in a teaching capacity at my church) is that we always played the “Santa game” just like we played a lot of games about imaginary things/people/places (like Harry Potter). But as soon as the question “is this real?” ever came up the answer was always “it’s just a fun game that we play.” I always went on to explain that *some* kids think it’s real (or want to pretend they believe it’s real) and that, just as with any game, it’s not our place to spoil their fun.

    I really think anyone who tells a kid in all seriousness that Santa is real, even when explicitly asked and/or challenged, is setting the kid up not to believe anything the person says in the future — especially when it comes to things that cannot be scientifically verified. I would expect a clergy person to be sensitive to this and to have thought out how she speaks about this.

    On the subject, however, this reminds me of the four stages of man:
    You believe in Santa.
    You don’t believe in Santa.
    You are Santa.
    You look like Santa.

  3. Milton says:

    This does seem like a headline from an Onion article.
    The brusque curate might better have read the famous Sept. 21, 1897 NY Sun editorial “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”.
    [url=http://www.nysun.com/editorials/yes-virginia/68502/]Yes Virginia[/url]

  4. Terry Tee says:

    A Catholic priest friend in reply to the question gives a brief disquisition on St Nicholas who was the precursor of the idea of Santa Claus. Fr Christmas is a further and remoter derivative.

  5. sophy0075 says:

    The vicar could have told the children Santa was real, in all honesty, because he is based (however distally) on St Nicholas.

    My real question to her, however, is not whether she believes in Santa, but whether she believes in Jesus and his divinity. I pray she instructs the children properly on this point.

  6. Catholic Mom says:

    What I don’t understand is how she got into this in the first place. The kids were not actually asking whether or not “Father Christmas” existed. SHE was asking THEM what the most important part of Christmas was and they said “Father Christmas” which is really just shorthand for “all the loot we get.”

    And I assume she asked the question precisely to set up such a response, not so that she could discuss the existence of Father Christmas (which is irrelevant, because they get the loot no matter where it comes from) but to set up the answer that “Christmas IS about gifts, but not the kind that can be bought in a store. It’s about the greatest gift of all.” I mean, this is kind of a no brainer, yes?

    We have a pre-school Christmas song that the kids sing:

    Happy Birthday, Jesus,
    I’m so glad it’s Christmas.
    All the tinsel and lights and
    The presents are nice
    But the real gift is You.

    Maybe next time she can just teach the kids the song and leave Father Christmas out of it?