(Daily Mail) Archbishop Welby's fury at cinema ban on 'offensive' Lord's prayer

Britain’s biggest cinema chains have banned the screening of a film in which the Archbishop of Canterbury and members of the public recite the Lord’s Prayer ”“ because they say it could be offensive to movie-goers.

Odeon, Cineworld and Vue have refused to show the one-minute film the Church of England planned to run in cinemas across the UK before the new Star Wars blockbuster, which opens a week before Christmas.

Last night the Church of England threatened legal action against the cinemas, saying it was the victim of religious discrimination.

The astonishing decision to block the film was made even though it was given a Universal certificate by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) ”“ meaning anyone, of any age, can watch it ”“ and approved by the Cinema Advertising Association (CAA).

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Media, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer

5 comments on “(Daily Mail) Archbishop Welby's fury at cinema ban on 'offensive' Lord's prayer

  1. pastorchuckie says:



    Maybe people will be curious about a film that has been BANNED by the theater industry. Has it been posted on Youtube?

    Pax Christi!
    Chuck Bradshaw

  2. Katherine says:

    Combined with the other item posted here about how converts to Christianity can be fairly openly targeted in the UK, this is quite alarming. If mosques can issue calls to prayer but Christians cannot, where is the UK heading? And the same applies here. Muslims here are free to decline to agree with Christian preaching, but Christians must be free to preach to any who will listen.

  3. Terry Tee says:

    First of all, let’s set aside the Daily Mail subeditor’s typical use of the word ‘fury’ for a courteous and polite response from the A of C.

    Second, the video is available online and will, as a result of this controversy, probably now be seen by many more people than would have seen it on cinema screens. I think the PR people down at Church House might (very privately) be delighted.

    Third, although I do understand and agree with the late Richard Neuhaus about the naked public square: public life without Christianity is denuded of content – even so, I think the cinemas made the right decision. They cannot be put in the position of having to adjudicate which religious adverts to accept and which not. That way, court cases lie in wait, swiftly. Imagine also, if you will, a perfectly reasonable commercial for cinema from a Muslim group. It might be about spirituality in Islam and be absolutely unobjectionable in itself. But in the current climate, would audiences welcome it? I personally would rather not walk into a cinema after the recent atrocities and be greeted with an apologia for Islam. So, on balance, yes, the cinemas were right.

    Fourth, I wonder if there is not a culture issue here with the dear old C of E. It often operates on the assumption that as the default setting for English Christianity, anything it presents is above polemics. It’s as if what the C of E is putting forward is not really religious, just something pertaining to the warp and woof of English society. But of course it is religious, at a time when religion is deeply controverted.

    Finally, here is the good news: this very short film is beautifully made, inspiring and touching. It shows a cross-section of believers from every walk of life. My favourite part is the too-few seconds of the black couple’s wedding. Hats off and three cheers to those who commissioned this wonderful piece of work.

  4. Katherine says:

    Thanks for that perspective, Fr. Tee. You’re right, I suspect, on all counts.

  5. Jeff Walton says:

    Having viewed the milquetoast advertising of the Protestant Mainline (remember the bland ‘open hearts, open doors, open minds’ Methodist ads a decade ago?) this is a surprisingly good video — and one that I will promptly share on social media. I agree with Terry that this was actually the best possible outcome — tons of free media and many more people will end up viewing the ad in the long run.

    That being said, these theater chains are privately run businesses that have discretion over what advertisements they will accept. I recall ABC and at least one other network rejecting a dreadful United Church of Christ advertisement (the “bouncer” ad) a few years back, as it implied other churches were rejecting people.