Seven reasons to ban the Lord’s Prayer

Britain woke up this morning to the news that the Lord’s Prayer has been banned from cinemas.

The Church of England has produced a sixty second commercial.  The only words are the words of the Lord’s Prayer, said by children, the bereaved, people at work and so on.  It’s a beautiful film, Certificate U. The ad is to promote a new website, Just Pray.uk.  The plan was (and is) to show the film before Christmas at screenings of the new Star Wars film to help everyone think about prayer and to pray.  What could be more simple?

The distributors have declared the Lord’s Prayer unsuitable for screening.  They believe it carries the risk of upsetting or offending audiences.

Cue indignation from the press, fury from the Archbishop (according to the Mail anyway) debates about free speech, a possible challenge in the courts and a storm on social media.

But wait just a moment.  Suppose the cinema chains got this one right?

I disagree with their decision and I disagree with the reasons they have given.  I hope it’s reversed.  I don’t believe the film will offend or upset audiences, in the way they mean, and I don’t believe it creates a new precedent.

But from the point of view of global corporations and consumer culture, from the perspective of the gods and spirits of the age, there are very good reasons indeed to ban the Lord’s Prayer from cinemas and from culture and from public life.

This is a prayer said by billions of people every day in every language on the planet.  In every single moment in time, someone is praying these words.  They are the first words of prayer we learn as children and the last words we say at the moment of death.

The Lord’s Prayer is powerful for a reason.  These words shape lives and families and communities and whole societies.

There are real reasons why the Lord’s Prayer has been banned by the demigods of consumer culture, in the boardrooms of the cinema chains.  Here are seven, one for every line.

First, this prayer gives to those who pray it an identity and a place in the world and a countercultural community.  “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name”.  It opposes the myth that we are random specks of matter floating through space and time.  It opposes the myth that our lives do not matter.  It opposes the myth of fragmented humanity.

We are created and loved and called into friendship with God who is our father and into community with our fellow human beings who are therefore our sisters and brothers.  Only someone who has found this new identity can stand against the advertising culture which night and day seduces us to define who we are by what we spend.

Second this prayer gives us the courage to live in an imperfect world.  “Your kingdom come.  Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. 

The world is not as it was meant to be.  It is distorted from its true purpose.  But God is at work to redeem and transform this world, to establish his kingdom.  The Lord’s Prayer invites us not to retreat from the world in fear and pain, to anaesthetise or indulge ourselves.  The Lord’s Prayer invites us to join the struggle to see justice and peace prevail.

Third, and most powerfully, the Lord’s Prayer teaches us to live with just enough.  This is the most dangerous reason why it cannot be shown with the adverts at the cinema.  It teaches us not to want more.  It teaches contentment, the most subversive virtue of them all.

“Give us this day our daily bread”.  This is not a prayer for more.  This is a prayer only for what we need.  Every other advert in the cinema is there to encourage us to spend money in pursuit of happiness.  This one restrains our greed.

Fourth, the Lord’s Prayer teaches me to live with my imperfections and the imperfections of others.  There is a way to deal with the rubbish in our lives.  “Forgive us our sins”.

Consumer culture holds before us the image of perfection.  We cannot be happy until we look like this person, live like that one.  Each image is a lie.

The Lord’s Prayer acknowledges human imperfection and sin, daily.  The Lord’s Prayer offers a pathway to forgiveness, daily. The way of forgiveness cannot be bought.  It is a gift.  Grace.  Grace subverts the whole culture of advertising.

Fifth the Lord’s Prayer offers a way of reconciliation.  “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us”.  We are not meant to feud or live in hostility or rivalry.  We are meant to forgive and be forgiven, to be reconciled to each other.  That reconciliation happens without expensive presents, without going into debt, without credit.  People are not made happy by more things, another consumer lie.  The greatest happiness comes from relationships.  The key to great relationships is reconciliation and forgiveness.

Sixth, the Lord’s Prayer builds resilience in the human spirit.  When you say this prayer each day you are prepared for the bad days.  “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” 

When we say this prayer we remind ourselves that we are not living in a Disney fairy tale, a saccharine creation of film makers where every story has a happy ending.

We are living in a real world of cancer and violence and difficulty, where we are tested, where bad things happen for no clear reason.  We live in that world confident in God’s love and goodness and help even in the midst of the most challenging moments of our lives.  Faith is for the deep valleys as much as the green pastures.  We may not have the answers but we know that God dwells with us and in us.

And seventh the Lord’s Prayer tells us how the story ends, how this life is to be lived and lived well.  “For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever.  Amen”.

The prayer returns as it begins to the praise and glory of the living God.  Our hearts return to their origin and source, the one who created us.  Life is to be lived to God’s praise and glory, not to satisfy our own small desires.  We are beings with a higher calling and a greater purpose.

There are only 63 words in the Lord’s Prayer.  It takes less than a minute to say them.

Yet these words shape our identity, give purpose to our lives, check our greed, remind us of our imperfections, offer a way of reconciliation, build resilience in our spirits and call us to live to the glory of our creator.

No wonder they have been banned in the boardrooms of consumer culture.

+Steven

Note:

This post is based on a sermon given in Peterhouse, Cambridge on Sunday 22 November.

To view the Lord’s Prayer film go to: https://youtu.be/vlUXh4mx4gI

To view the Just Prayer website go to: justpray.uk?

For the Pilgrim Course on the Lord’s Prayer see: http://www.pilgrimcourse.org/

295 replies
  1. Joyce Skinn
    Joyce Skinn says:

    Thanks so much for these inspired reasons why the Lord’s Prayer would be inappropriate for cinema. It’s a beautiful prayer which encapsulates the beauty of God and our special relationship with our Father

    Reply
  2. Matthew Stone
    Matthew Stone says:

    I have watched this video online and found it inspiring; being a christian in modern Britain can be a lonely experience beyond the confines of church walls, this evocative film helped me feel a little less isolated as it shows the prayer being recited in and amongst the world. I am however disappointed by the reaction to its supposed ‘banning’ or ‘censorship’. I think it is difficult to suggest it is either; I would describe it more as ‘bad admin’ on the part of the makers of the advert. Why go to to the effort of making this excellent film only to submit it to an agency whose T & C’s state clearly that no political or religious material will be broadcast. Shouldn’t the makers have checked that beforehand…?

    Reply
  3. Cathy Leathley
    Cathy Leathley says:

    Amen to this response to the culture of this age. I encourage the debate around this prayer, and actually the Lord is showing how banning His word creates more of an opportunity to discuss the details. ,!!,

    Reply
  4. Brian Evans Ogden
    Brian Evans Ogden says:

    Thank you very much for these comments, they are inspired and sincere. The film is also very moving and should be shared as much as possible. God’s Blessings to all and peace atChristmastide.

    Reply
  5. Margaret Owen
    Margaret Owen says:

    The advert is so beautiful , so touching. It has to be that the world is secular and worse still atheist. It is so very sad

    Reply
  6. Janice Rogers
    Janice Rogers says:

    I get the points made. On the other hand it doesn’t stop us saying the Lord’s prayer when we go to the cinema or any other time for that matter.

    Reply
  7. Christine Mary Fitze
    Christine Mary Fitze says:

    They show films such as Mel Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of Christ’, so why have they banned the advert about ‘The Lord’s Prayer’? It doesn’t make sense.

    Reply
  8. Lee Vincent
    Lee Vincent says:

    Excellent article and I do believe that the cinema chains involved have scored a spectacular own-goal-I mean beating their own defence, getting two sent off and scoring with an overhead kick.

    Reply
  9. Melanie Hoyle
    Melanie Hoyle says:

    The problem with making this an advert is that it’s being exposed to other religions and atheists who strongly do not believe in the way Christians do things and this is in your face to them. We never see adverts for Muslims or Jews so why should Christians think they’re any different? I have no doubts it would’ve been a beautiful advert, but not all the world would agree.

    Reply
  10. A Muslim
    A Muslim says:

    Sir/Madam. The real struggle is between those that have no faith and those that have. I grew up learning the learning the Lord’s prayer when it used to be recited in morning assembly. To this day whenever i hear it, it provides comfort and brings a smile to my face as it reaffirms our connection to God. Don’t be disheartened and above all don’t give up.

    Reply
  11. Hugh Rooney
    Hugh Rooney says:

    Very well written and a healthy balanced antidote to the relentless and merciless activities of Franchise Christmas which assail all of us daily

    Reply
  12. Sue Cotterill
    Sue Cotterill says:

    I was indignant at first, but I can see the wisdom written by Steven. When I say the lord’s prayer every sentence carries power that give me a feeling of peace. If’s a precious gift that enables me to receive only what I truly need. So thank you Steven for giving me clarity in the things that are important.

    Reply
  13. Joyce Bassett
    Joyce Bassett says:

    Has anyone else noticed the first line – hallowed by your name. An interesting change to the words I have been saying for years.

    Reply
  14. David O'Neill
    David O'Neill says:

    When Jesus preached he hadn’t got cinema, word of mouth was sufficient. Today social media is global word of mouth. I would like to thank the cinema industry in showing how there advertising is irrelevant and making this negative decision has been the best advertising ever. I am very proud to be in a relationship with Jesus and he is not in the truth business.

    Reply
  15. Tanya Marlow
    Tanya Marlow says:

    Wonderful response, and great as a Christian to reflect once again of the power of the words of this prayer, and how they stand against consumer culture. Thank you.

    Reply
  16. Iian
    Iian says:

    The words can differ depending on which part of the christian faith you belong to. However its still the same prayer. I think its annoying that the company who has stopped it being shown in their cinemas didnt say from the start they had a policy on such matters. This is very decetful on the companies part.

    Reply
  17. Wesley Harrison
    Wesley Harrison says:

    You’re wrong Bishop. It would cause offence and it would create a precedent. There is no place for religious or political dogma of any hue in any place of public entertainment. If you’re a person of faith then go to church to pray. If you need to faith and prayer to get you through life that’s absolutely fine but don’t inflict it on those of us who manage perfectly without such fiction.

    Reply
  18. sadie
    sadie says:

    9 million children under the age of 5 die every year ….I’m sure the parents use all sorts of prayers….but they still die…many in agony and ravished by disease.

    Reply
  19. Polly Bailey
    Polly Bailey says:

    I really don’t think many people would have been offended by the Lord’s Prayer even if they did not agree. In fact more people are offended by the ban. It’s surprising that the ban has actually prompted MORE media coverage!

    Reply
  20. Luciano Giovane
    Luciano Giovane says:

    The Lord’s prayer in cinemas? Christian school assembly and the opening of parliament, or in a church service, ok, but to a captive audience in a cinema? Are you serious? Sounds a bit self righteous to me. I suppose the Christian Church is paying for the slot – there’s something very odd about that too. You wouldn’t see the Muslims doing it, or the Jews. There’s something very odd about the whole thing to me. Quoting Bishop Croft: ‘It opposes the myth that we are random specks of matter floating through space and time. It opposes the myth that our lives do not matter. It opposes the myth of fragmented humanity’. He asserts that these 3 things are myths, which is, to me anyway, a flawed argument. They might be myths in his mind, for he is a believer after all, but it is a truth that we are but specks existing in space, that our lives matter only if we make them matter to ourselves and to each other, and that we have the power to heal a fragmented humanity only if we make the effort to do so in our lifetime. This is the real power of the teachings ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ and ‘what you do unto others you do unto me’. If you think some imaginary power is going to step in and do fix things then you are abdicating responsibility. Believe in the connection of one human to the next; search for what you can do for mankind; be responsible for now, not some imaginary after life; stop imagining a paradise beyond this reality and fix THIS reality. I’ve always thought that believing all will be well after you die, depending on how well you behaved while you were alive, is way too simplistic. There’s no heaven, no hell, nothing after this short blip of an existence. Put your efforts into making a difference NOW, here, in your lifetime, for the sake of humanity – it’s the only time you have got. No one has ever come back to prove otherwise. Remember ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon, so simple and yet so profound. Maybe that song should be played in the cinemas – a call to unify humanity, in a time it is desperately needed.

    Reply
  21. Joan Davies
    Joan Davies says:

    Thanks you…there is a lot of sanctified common sense in what you have written. This nation was once Great Britain as we acknowledged that God the Creator was Lord of this Nation but many people have turned their backs on God and we need to repent and turn back to Him.

    Reply
  22. Mark Nash-Williams
    Mark Nash-Williams says:

    Melanie – there is nothing in this prayer which other faiths would object to, and most atheists I know would tolerate it, even if they wouldn’t wish to pray it. Joyce – there is a newer version of the Lord’s prayer which has been in quite widespread use for about 40 years, alongside the traditional version; this article quotes the newer version.

    Reply
  23. Jacquie McDowell
    Jacquie McDowell says:

    Not the same words I know! We all are acceptable to the world having different faiths and views so don’t impose ours on others unless your going to include their daily prayer

    Reply
  24. Joyce Bassett
    Joyce Bassett says:

    Mark – none of the versions I know have hallowed by your name instead of hallowed be your name – in fact someone has now corrected the article – oops!!

    Reply
  25. John Birnie
    John Birnie says:

    Governments and corporate interests should stop bullying Christianity. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We must fight such narrow-mindedness wherever it is found, with the double-edged sword of the Holy Spirit.

    Reply
  26. Molly Hawkins
    Molly Hawkins says:

    Luciano – Put your efforts into making a difference NOW, you say.. Well, the most important difference we can make in anyone’s life is to introduce them to their Creator. Only He can transform our lives, heal us, set us free, help us forgive our enemies and give us life full of purpose & knowing we are loved. This prayer has comforted millions – why withhold that blessing from more millions?

    Reply
  27. William Emerson
    William Emerson says:

    Interesting article, clearly and rationally written which I fully agree with. Interestingly in the above reply there is a statement you wouldn’t see the Muslims do it….. this is a sentiment I have seen repeated constantly on social media in reference to this topic. Perhaps they have never walked around London / Manchester / Birmingham etc etc when the call to pray blasts out from the Minarets! No hidding from nor ignoring that. Sadly in todays Multi Cultural Britian the Majority are expected to tolerate the demands of the Minority. Rarely, as in this case, is there any reciprocation Excellent article

    Reply
  28. Jeff
    Jeff says:

    You are wrong. It offends me on many levels. Keep your prayers where they should be. In your minds and in your churches. I do not want your lies and deceit forced upon me. All religion is wrong.

    Reply
  29. Tim
    Tim says:

    I can understand perfectly where you and other Christians are coming from, but I have to say, I think the right decision was made. In an increasingly multi-belief-type society; it’s just not possible to show favour to one religion in this way. Plus, A cinema probably isn’t the place for this sort of thing; certainly not before Star Wars… If I’d been at the cinema seeing this advert, I probably would have felt like complaining, because like many others, I’m just not interested. It’s not bullying Christianity, it’s common sense. People don’t respond well to a belief being push towards them in this way, and I don’t think it’s fair to interrupt a social gathering with a religious message. I think if the advert had been allowed to run, there would have been a higher level of controversy overall. Although to be fair, how anyone would be expected to remember an advert to encourage prayer after seeing the new Star Wars film is anyone’s guess!

    Reply
  30. Joe
    Joe says:

    Great article, however, my God does not test me, it is faithful always. Conversely, my God does allow me to learn and grow from my own mistakes and misgivings, as well as those brought on by my fellow humans. My god also turns those interactions, be they positive or negative, into blessings, but only when I allow myself to see them and learn. I believe it a common misconception that God tests us. If my God does this for me so that I may come to a deeper more full relationship with it, it stands to reason that God does the same for all of us. Saying that God is testing you when trouble comes your way places the blame on God, where it does not belong, rather than the ego of whom ever is truly at fault, whether it is me, you, or one of our other brothers or sisters. And those troubles not associated with ego, troubles that are random, those are chance. Does God make these things to happen to us? I don’t believe so, but god does allow them and hopes we allow them to be turned to blessing.

    Reply
  31. Tracey
    Tracey says:

    I agree with this ban, I dont think the cinema is a place for any religion to advertise, its an open house for anyone of any faith to enjoy and no one should be made to feel uncomfortable there. There would be no harm having the ad on TV or radio as anyone who doesn’t want to see it can change the channel/station, you dont have that choice in a cinema. I wonder how many Christians would feel if they went to enjoy a film and had to sit through adverts for other religions. If the DCM allow this advert it would open the door for a wide number of religions and groups to reach people in this way. I think they made the right choice, let cinemas stay a place free from religion and just for enjoyment.

    Reply
  32. Joe Hasler
    Joe Hasler says:

    Why would an advertising agency think the Lord’s Prayer might cause offence? Our Father in Heaven. Sows the idea there is somewhere beautiful: a place where there is something better than this. Your Kingdom come Your will be done on Earth as in heaven! For heavens sake, you’ll be encouraging people to think that something better could come now! Give us today our daily bread. Only encourages dependency culture. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. If we abandon interest payments the capitalist edifice will crumble and will we need any advertisements? Keep us safe in the time of trial and save us from the evil one. And who might they think that might be?

    Reply
  33. Rosemary Frost
    Rosemary Frost says:

    I would find it very offensive to see this advert at the cinema, since it is presenting a lie – I believe there is no supernatural god, no fantasy heaven. nor that every living thing was created by a god. It is possible for people to lead loving, compassionate and generous lives without depending on some invisible and unprovable being.

    Reply
  34. Nathalie
    Nathalie says:

    Are cinemas worrying so much about upsetting the public when the trailers of violent films are on screen before all films. Are we meant to be trained and brain washed to violence and not to peace? That s a question to ask those people who pretend to know we have all training for guns and none for words.

    Reply
  35. Rev Ken Hunter.
    Rev Ken Hunter. says:

    If by chance we go to another country we are supposed to abide by their system, I’m of the age that we are a Christian country. Where are we going???

    Reply
  36. Marianne kopp
    Marianne kopp says:

    I feel so blessed when reading these comments . I like to say the Lord’s Prayer slowly, to savour each sentence you have added another aspect & depth thank you!

    Reply
  37. Caroline Baynes
    Caroline Baynes says:

    Well said, Steven Croft. So many adverts are blasted at us on our screens, here is a gentle thoughtful one. It won’t alienate anyone. Christ is not mentioned. It could be prayed by anybody. It contains good sense. Did you notice how many different races were praying the prayer, in the advert? Did you know that this prayer brings comfort to millions who can’t ever get to church because their relations won’t let them, or they are in prison for their faith, or they are on a refugee journey? (some of them built a tent church at Calais!) Live and let live, I say. And just put your hands over your ears if you can’t bear the message of that prayer!

    Reply
  38. Phil
    Phil says:

    I find it interesting that some people don’t want Christian or any other type of religious belief shoved at them but they don’t recognise that most adverts are doing that exact same thing. Isn’t that what adverts are for, to present something to you and make you want it, telling you that you need their product in your life. Personally , I don’t want to sit through numerous car adverts or ads or the latest fragrance from Lynx that makes all women want you (yeah right) but I have to and I’ll deal with that. Does it mean I have to buy their product or agree with them? No, it does not. The fact of the matter is Christians have a faith in God that we think is the best thing in the world because we have a relationship with a God who loves us and life with him is so much more awesome than life without him. If you choose not to believe, that’s your choice, but it doesn’t stop God from loving you and it won’t stop me from wanting to share about my heavenly father with you. When I see Star Wars TFA I’m sure I’ll want to tell people about it and I’m pretty sure they won’t get offended if I tell them. They’re free to try it for themselves and make up their own decision but don’t tell me rubbish unless you’ve seen it for yourself. God bless you, I know He does me.

    Reply
  39. John Thomas
    John Thomas says:

    I would ask Christians who feel this decision is wrong, if they would then be ok with other faiths, occult groups etc putting their prayers up before a film, secularists promoting their non-belief or sitting through adverts from various political parties. We can’t have it both ways can we? Or perhaps the CofE knew it might not get shown and have actually generated quite a lot of publicity by protesting instead and probably more people are now watching the video than before.

    Reply
  40. Claire Lucas
    Claire Lucas says:

    The reason why this has been banned is because this prayer is so powerful. It’s words are the words that JESUS taught us to pray – if you don’t believe in Jesus it shouldn’t make any difference to you whether you watch it or not – however because it IS so powerful it has caused a fearful reaction – such a shame as the cinemas could have chosen to have blessed their audiences with a family prayer. Theyve missed out on a massive opportunity ! Bad business was decision. Their loss ! I’ll still be praying it – especially wen I visit the cinema lol and anywhere else I go.

    Reply
  41. Angie
    Angie says:

    I was brought up in a Christian country that held Christian beliefs….and that foundation should not be removed. You don’t have to believe if you don’t want to. There is so much antagonism in this country! We are all unique and therefore we all have different views on whether we follow the Christian faith or not …it really IS down to choice. However, why are so many people offended by the Lord’s Prayer? I am reading ‘forced, offended, lies, deceit!’ Please explain. I have a mixture of friends of many different belief genre’s and I do not knock one of them! I am not offended by any of them……why should I? If my faith is that solid in my life then why should I become offended by someone’s else’s faith? I have a choice to ignore those beliefs, and agree to disagree. It’s called ‘acceptance without agreement.’ Isn’t it funny how we can sit through trailers that portray violence, murder, hurt, cruelty, bloodshed, abuse…all that hurts humankind, and not offended or close a blind eye until we get to the film we paid to see, but we can’t sit through a few short minutes of a prayer that is uplifting with encouraging words, but have to hit out on all that is loving, hopeful, peaceful. Has anyone noticed that no-one knocks any other gods…..except God!! There is enough evil in the world without banning stuff that is overall good. We all need to get a life; understand that not all of us share the same beliefs but that at the very least we should respect them. This is really quite ludicrous.

    Reply
  42. Chris McMahon
    Chris McMahon says:

    Like Rosemary, I do not believe in God or heaven, but I see no reason to be offended by words that give comfort to many. And if it’s a lie, it’s a lot better than the lie that owning more stuff will make you happy, which most adverts seem to be saying.

    Reply
  43. Andy Smith
    Andy Smith says:

    Indeed Rose it is perfectly possible to lead loving, compassionate and generous lives without depending on agreeing that God exists. Nothing in the ad suggest otherwise. But many people of all kinds do pray to God without insisting that anyone else does and that is all the ad was showing. Perhaps those people are mistaken but theyre not lying.

    Reply
  44. Daniel
    Daniel says:

    Interesting read for certain but alas I have to agree with the decision to ban the advert. I like Christian values and try to live my life according to the 10 commandments – a good set of rules for anyone to live by. I would describe myself as a Christian but I have nothing but contempt for all organised religion due to the utter hypocrisy that always comes with it. If there was an advert in the cinema that extolled the virtues and benefits of gay marriage or gay couples right to adopt etc, the church would be the first to try and ban it! There would be demonstrations and picket lines etc etc. All hypocrites! Far too many idiots choose to use minor passages in the bible that justify their own prejudices and then conveniently forget the texts that that they don’t like (Leviticus being a great case in point). When Jesus said ‘God is within all of us’ he was talking about the voice of your own conscience and nothing more. The bible is not meant to be taken literally and neither is the Koran or any other religious text. They’re mere guidelines. I know Some morons that actually believe that 2 penguins walked from Antartica to get on board Noah’s Ark and then we’re able to endure a huge storm on board whilst being able to avoid being eaten by lions or squashed by Elephants etc etc. Religion has a place in society but shouldn’t be forced upon people.

    Reply
  45. Hedgewitch
    Hedgewitch says:

    Personally, I’d rather not see any adverts at the cinema, but I definitely don’t want to see a Christian one. Before Christianity came along we were a Pagan country, I am a Pagan, and I don’t want to be preached at/to.

    Reply
  46. Sean
    Sean says:

    Well, I am an atheist. But this prayer is beautiful, part of my childhood and part of my culture. I am grateful for the church in England because it is the only agency willing and able to frame public debates in moral terms, to talk about right and wrong rather than prevaricate about the appropriate, inappropriate or offensive. We sorely need the moral criticism of consumer culture that the Bishop offers here, even us atheists.

    Reply
  47. Nat
    Nat says:

    I think ‘ban the Lord’s prayer’ is a little harsh here, the main problem is that if we allow an advert promoting Christianity to be shown at cinemas, people of other faiths will demand that they have adverts promoting their faith as well. Britain is a multi-faith society so why should Christianity be the exception?

    Reply
  48. Thomas
    Thomas says:

    Is there any way to read all the comments…it’s only showing the most recent ones? It’s an interesting topic so have enjoyed reading the comments.

    Reply
  49. John Wolfe
    John Wolfe says:

    I agree with the ban, on the grounds that if one religion is allowed to advertise in cinemas, then so can others, and who wants to have the mickey mouse religion of islam thrust upon us ?? Not I !

    Reply
  50. Angie
    Angie says:

    For Sean… I so admire your comment. It just goes to show that there are people out there that, although embrace a different viewpoint/faith/or no faith can still find beauty in the Lord’s prayer. We could all learn from this very wise comment and take it on board, in a world that offers very little in hope, peace or love for one another whatever our beliefs. Instead of antagonism this gentleman has shown huge respect! Thank you Sean.

    Reply
  51. Stephanie
    Stephanie says:

    Jesus taught his disciples how to pray by the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus, who did no wrong, healed the sick, made the blind see, the lame to walk, who commanded the wind and waves to be still. Who spent his time in prayer, turned water into wine. He was crucified because he claimed to be God, he spoke of his kingdom, but death could not hold him, three days later he rose from the grave, was seen by many, before ascending into heaven, where he is seated at the right hand of the father. If anyone knows how to connect with God, surely the one who is seated with him knows. He who has ears, let him listen.

    Reply
  52. Michael Caine
    Michael Caine says:

    They are beautiful words – they don’t offend – whether you believe in them or not they are words of gentleness and love .

    Reply
  53. Nigel
    Nigel says:

    We are all spiritual beings ! Whether we admit it or not but all in our own way !!! If you allow this to be shown at cinemas where will it end ! If you allow one religion to do it others will follow. Let’s leave churches etc for prayers and cinemas for films.

    Reply
  54. Phil
    Phil says:

    I don’t believe or disbelieve about God but the banning of the Lord’s Prayer is wrong, I understand that it could be offensive to people of other faiths but they choose to live here, if we go to another country we have to abide by there rules and believes such as not drinking etc, so why should we alter or ban things that we do! Wrong wrong wrong.

    Reply
  55. David Cressey
    David Cressey says:

    I love it. The Lord’s Prayer has had way more publicity over the banning by DCM productions… You can’t buy coverage like this…. Thanks DCM ??????????

    Reply
  56. Ken Gaskell
    Ken Gaskell says:

    Pandora’s box. If I go to the cinema I don’t want to be bombarded by adverts from Muslims, JWs, Mormons, Atheists or anyone else. I just want to see a film. On the other hand, the atheists are quick to shut us up. Yet they have a platform every night to attack people of faith. Mock the Week, QI, Live at the Appollo; the list goes on. They reserve the right to freedom of speech as long as it is for people like themselves. They set out to offend, but they are concerned that we might offend. They don’t want us to have the same freedom of speech that they enjoy.

    Reply
  57. Mark
    Mark says:

    I think the problem is that the film is a little dull. There is no sense of majesty or awe. If the film (advert) was in any way interesting cinemas and film makers would be fighting over it. The Lord’s Prayer film could’ve been brilliant. But instead a very slow and uninspiring

    Reply
  58. Phil
    Phil says:

    I’m sick of these happy clappy churches, I reasentley went to one of these churches for a christening and low and behold they had changed the wording to the Lord’s Prayer, why do they not leave things as they are? If you don’t like what the words are don’t us the prayer, get your own!! Makes my blood boil !!

    Reply
  59. Angie
    Angie says:

    This prayer is flawless. It is the perfect example of how we are to pray. It has stood the test of time and it always will. I think having it play in the theater is a beautiful gesture. I would love that for AMERICA! What a nice way to start the Christmas season.

    Reply
  60. Alastair Cook
    Alastair Cook says:

    There is nothing wrong with the Lords prayer. Saying it can’t be shown due to offending others is like saying non smokers will be offended by ads about smoking. We are a Christian country we accept to nave a diverse range of adverts/programs but there is an outcry when we want to have our home countries culture due to fear of offending! Live in peace accept all, war begins small by non acceptance, I don’t care what sex, sexual it, colour or creed…….. Love each other live in peace!

    Reply
  61. rusty
    rusty says:

    I could not agree more with Hedgewitch who does want to be preached at/to by any advertisements! In the cacophony of commercials, it seems that the Lord’s Prayer is a word of a different order. I am delighted by Bishop Croft’s response to the times in which we live. In the mean time, let us pray…

    Reply
  62. Maureen
    Maureen says:

    If their aim in banning this is not to offend, then what does that mean for those of us who are offended by the decision. The cinemas propagate everything that is bad about society today, abhorrent violence, illicit sex and obscene language, horror to the extreme, yet something good like the advert showing people praying the Lord’s Prayer is banned. Who are these people that have made this decision to discriminate. Well we can discriminate against them by boycotting their cinemas.

    Reply
  63. Imrae
    Imrae says:

    I think the advert is quite beautiful and refreshing. Id gladly watch adverts of a similar ilk from other religions and life view points. I’m more offended at adverts relying on my stupidity when trying to sell me face creams that by law aren’t meant to penetrate deeper than the upper dermis layers. Or cough medicine that is swallowed and not inhaled – I mean its not going any where near that irritating tickle – how exactly is it going to soothe it? And cold remedies so that you can carry on like your not sick spreading the virus to all and sundry. Anything but, in my opinion, just stop asking me for my money!

    Reply
  64. Sheila
    Sheila says:

    I am sorry that such an inoffensive prayer is banned. There is nothing in the Lord’s Prayer that isolates or reject anyone. I welcome the Bishop of Sheffields words. Luckily we believe in free speech in this country so my word is as valid as anyone’s

    Reply
  65. James Cornelius
    James Cornelius says:

    Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

    Reply
  66. Geoff New
    Geoff New says:

    Thank you for this post. Just one point – the phrase Give us today our daily bread literally means Give us tomorrow’s blessings today. The Lord’s Prayer is quite demanding. We have domesticated it. It is deep, passionate and in the spirit of the Psalms. An expression of bold faith and deep trust.

    Reply
  67. Phil
    Phil says:

    The prayer hasn’t been banned, nor do they find christianity offensive. The CAA have made a decision long before this offering not to run any adverts of a religious nature as they may cause offense. That means that you won’t go to the cinema and see ads for scientology, Westborough Baptist Church etc (as some of those ads may well be offensive). It would have been more sensible to check the regulation before creating the advert, instead of attempting to find outrage where there is none.

    Reply
  68. Teresa
    Teresa says:

    The cinemas happily put on films that offended people such as Life of Brian. and happily took the profits. The Lords Prayer is for Everybody. In quiet protest of their decision I am going to buy a ticket and say the prayer before the film starts.

    Reply
  69. Chris Tilley
    Chris Tilley says:

    I am a Christian and a Licensed Lay Minister in Worcester Diocese. I and so many of my friends, some non Christian friends too, are really upset at the decision to ban the advert. If people would just stop for a minute with all the arguments about extreme views and other subjects and instead just listen to the words of a loving Jesus, hear what these words are saying, maybe even take a look at the material of the Pilgrim course mentioned above, and which we are doing at the moment, you just might catch a glimpse of the real Jesus, who loves all people, and find out what He is really like, not an extremist, forcing anything on anyone, but offering a better way, one of love and compassion, of justice and freedom, not fighting, or hate , or constant arguing as portrayed in the media right now, I know which I shall choose, and if we all choose His love we would all be in a better place, better equipped to deal with all the stuff in our lives and other peoples, and to know real peace, the kind that only God can give.

    Reply
  70. Ian
    Ian says:

    Afraid, despite being Christened Salvation Army and supporting Christen values as good to live by, I don’t think there is a place for Religious teachings from any religion outside of the local place of worship. Christianity hardly has a good track record when it comes to killing in the name of religion. As for Seven Reasons, there really is only one, the world corporations of film and Business require as wider audience as possible, that means all race, creed or religion.

    Reply
  71. Rosie
    Rosie says:

    I love the Lords prayer. I don’t go to the cinema very often so I may never had known about this advert, but thanks to the ban I’ve heard so much more about it through the news, papers, television and social media. Thankyou and Amen

    Reply
  72. Lorraine usher
    Lorraine usher says:

    It isn’t about wrong or right. If you allow an advertisement by the Church we would be inundated by demands to allow all kinds of advertisements by all kinds of organisations including mad hatter cults.

    Reply
  73. James Spanner
    James Spanner says:

    It’s only in the last year or so of 48 years of life as a committed Christian and probably 60 of reciting the Lord’s Prayer that the penny has dropped that these 7 phrases encompass the entire spectrum of what conversation with God, and life itself, are about. So I suggest that all knee-jerk reactions are suspended and Steve Croft’s thoughtful words are given time to be absorbed. Or could it be that the knee-jerks are precisely because (forgive the mixed metaphor) he has hit some nails on their heads?

    Reply
  74. David
    David says:

    A few questions for Daniel based on his comments… Firstly, How do you define yourself as a Christian, what do you believe makes you one? Secondly, you appeared to have branded all christians as hypocrites, on what evidence/research do you base this statement? Do you include yourself in that because you also described yourself as one? Thirdly, nowhere in the Bible did Jesus ever say, God is within all of us do you have a point of reference? Because it seems you have based the rest of your views regarding this on something that’s not actually factual. Finally, what place in society do you think organised religion should have given that you claim to have nothing but contempt for it?

    Reply
  75. Miriam
    Miriam says:

    Thank You Steven for a lovely reply, its amazing how some people are ready to slam our faith for the negative view. But as Christains we believe in loving God who wants the best future for all of mankind.

    Reply
  76. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    They are banning an advertisement that they disagree with. Funny how they don’t disagree with all of the ads that promote promiscuity and making fun of one gender or the other. Just another sign of mankinds slide

    Reply
  77. Chris
    Chris says:

    Jesus was either; A lier A Lunatic Or Lord He taught this prayer to convey our humanity and with His divinity. If we take the very Godly fabric out of our society altogether, the world will become more devastated than it is now. Only the true church of Christ through His Word, stops sin in its fulness taking over. Think about that for a moment. How naive it is to take God out of everything!

    Reply
  78. Peter Wilson Australia
    Peter Wilson Australia says:

    What a powerful read – thank you to Steven for the depth of his relationship with God and his courage to stand and share this with a world that is yearning for this message. As we face the seemingly overwhelming hopelessness from news media, entertainment producers, governments etc – we are reminded once again – today – there is hope! there is a way! and it is freely available – but importantly, it is YOUR choice – it is not forced on you.

    Reply
  79. Dave
    Dave says:

    Can’t see how anyone could be offended by the Lord’s Prayer. We live in a culture where people are just looking for the slightest thing to be ‘offended’ about…. And the atheists are particularly good at this. However it’s OK to parade the Life of Brian through our cinemas and TVs. So let’s redress the balance … The increasingly anti Christian media offends me and I will find a cinema showing this ad before I’ll give my money to the other places. If ever there’s a time when we need the Lord’s Prayer it’s now.

    Reply
  80. Philip
    Philip says:

    The sad thing is that nowadays we’re trying so hard to be tolerant that we become intolerant of different views and in the end where has freedom of speech gone? Is this Ad promoting violence or hate? If you can’t express your worldview peacefully without getting censored then what is this country coming to?

    Reply
  81. dave shaw
    dave shaw says:

    One sunday our priest had mixed his rota up, and nobody came to our small churc. We did a small D.I.Y. service and I decided to do a sermon on the Lords Prayer. I did it off the cuff, but it is the ‘Lords Prayer’ ! It covers all the angles and is beautifully simple. My little sermon was very similar to the above, and I believe that the Lords Prayer is the most powerful prayer you can say. Never a day goes by when I don’t end my day without saying The Lords Prayer. Amen!

    Reply
  82. Lorna Kelly
    Lorna Kelly says:

    Mary Baker Eddy’s interpretation is very powerful Our Father – our Father, Mother God Hallowed be thy name – Adorable One Thy Kingdom come – Thy Kingdom is come, Thou art ever present Thy Will be done – enable us to know, as in Heaven so on earth Give us this day our daily bread – give us grace for today. Feed the famished affections And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors – and love is reflected in love And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil – And God leadeth us not into temptation but delivereth us from sin,disease and death For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory – For God is infinite, all Life, Truth, Love, over all and All.

    Reply
  83. Don
    Don says:

    What about those other adverts that could do with being banned from our cinemas – and plenty of films as well: all those that glorify mindless violence, that encourage sexual deviance and promiscuity ……. ?

    Reply
  84. Diane
    Diane says:

    Have just watched the wonderful add, just pray, really sad that cinemas have banned this. All of us through the trials and difficulties of life need to know of a loving creator God. This add was in no way offensive just very comforting, definitely a loss to audiences not to be allowed to view it!

    Reply
  85. Diane Rendle
    Diane Rendle says:

    God moves in mysterious ways! The TV and newspaper coverage has been seen by millions – probably far more than would have seen it when going to see Star Wars.

    Reply
  86. David
    David says:

    Sad such profound hope is seen as such a threat. If the Lord’s prayer threatens you, don’t worry, most of your life can be lived without conscience or concern but if the idea offends you that some people actually believe that the Holy Spirit isn’t an accidental evolutionary chemo-nuerotic event in their skulls — that love is more than herd instinct, well excuse me. But you need to be offended. Take it further and you may be glad someday to find the God who is trying so hard to get you to wake up.

    Reply
  87. Kath
    Kath says:

    I am a Christian and love this prayer. However, wht not have prayers from different beliefs shown. How can anyone argue about that. It should just teach tolerance and understanding. Just go a bit later to see the beginning of the main film and you’ll miss any prayers. That way we are free to hear, free to speak and free not to hear.

    Reply
  88. Jools
    Jools says:

    I think these words are simply filled with beauty, hope and goodness. If they happen to reach God then all the very better for them, if they don’t then they are still filled with beauty, hope and goodness. This world needs more of all three.

    Reply
  89. Abbey
    Abbey says:

    Wow, I think this is a really eloquent read. I find it very hopeful. Thank you, I wouldn’t have thought of that perspective but it’s an interesting one to hear. Thank you for taking the time to sit down, think through, feel and share your thoughts.

    Reply
  90. Annon
    Annon says:

    What is the matter with the world today! We back away from expressing our views on how WE want to live life, because we MIGHT offend someone!! If we all lived like this we’d never leave the house as we would offend someone with the way we’re dressed. These bosses need to take a serious look at their consciences, because some of the greatest changes came about because we challenged the opposition! Come on bosses, GROW SOME BALLS AND DO SOMETHING TO MAKE A STATEMENT!, like we’re not going to change our lives or faiths because some people are too weak to be able to cope with it. If their that offended, DONT WATCH IT!!!!!

    Reply
  91. Caroline
    Caroline says:

    absolutely perfect. I’ve just read this aloud to my 17 year old son. Such a huge blessing and just at the right time. Thank you.

    Reply
  92. Mike Day
    Mike Day says:

    To anyone who has not seen this argument between the 3 Big Cinema Chains and the Church of England really need to read this and watch the video and then make an opinion on what they think. I would really love to know peoples views on this subject. I am a firm believer in both religious views and in freedom of speech, that this video is not offensive in anyway because it covers all religions and that it is only right to see the Lords Prayer advertised before a Major Screening of a Film. GOD IS TRULY LOOKING DOWN ON US AND ENSURING THAT WE ARE ALL WALKING THE CORRECT PATH TO SALVATION AND HAPPINESS. AMEN.

    Reply
  93. Kathleen
    Kathleen says:

    Hmm… Daniel….Well for someone who doesn’t want religion forced upon them, you are quick to put your opinions across quite emphatically…I assume of course that they are your opinions…. How can you know ALL are hypocrites, and why should they be morons just because they believe something you don’t. I believe we are all guilty of interpreting things in the way that suits us. One thing is absolutely certain..in my opinion…the world would be a better place if people learnt to forgive each other instead of retaliating at every turn..

    Reply
  94. Simon
    Simon says:

    I think that every person has the right to make their own decisions in life. There’s so much hate in this world, The Lord’s Prayer is a voice of peace. You can listen if you want, I don’t watch all ads in the cinema

    Reply
  95. J Ironside
    J Ironside says:

    I do not want to see the Lord’s Prayer at the cinema. I’d rather not see ads for the latest car or video game either. I don’t think anyone has anything to complain about with regard to the cinemas’ decision. It’s a cynical move to try and get it screened before what will probably be one of the hugest grossing films of the year and not admit that it is a blatant marketing campaign in an attempt to fill flagging churches. I am not a Christian. I do not want to be preached too. If this was an advert by another religion I would be just as vocal about not wanting it. And in all honesty if I had turned up at the cinema in my limited amount of free time and someone started praying at me I would be offended. It may only be sixty seconds but that’s sixty seconds where you are removing my choice on whether to watch that advert/ listen to that prayer.

    Reply
  96. Robert
    Robert says:

    It isn’t banned, but it would quite rightly be regarded as misleading under any normal advertising standards, because it makes false and unsubstantiated claims such as the existence of free daily bread, despite knowing that many people suffer from gluten and wheat intolerance. God does not have a ‘kingdom’ , not is there any evidence that it will ‘come’ , nor that God will deliver us from Evil (because to be fair, he hasn’t and won’t)

    Reply
  97. Matt Parsons
    Matt Parsons says:

    Throughout history there has been, and will continue to be those who would ban everything to do with Christianity, get rid of the bible and close all churches. Prayer is the deepest desire of the inner being of man, especially at times of crisis, and the Lord’s Prayer is but a model for us. It identifies the loving relationship between God and his people. For some it’s very special, for others it has no meaning whatsoever, but for many, it’s a small reminder that God I’d our father. In a cinema, a 1 minute reminder, will do no harm, yet to the lonely, the fearful, the hurting, the troubled, it may, yes it may give and bring a moment when faith in God is awakened, and the realisation of a loving God becomes a reality. We are a very selfish society, when we say I don’t want it, I don’t believe in God, therefore it can’t be shown such an attitude denies the possibility of reaching out to God, not in some church building, but in an everyday setting. And somehow I believe that’s where Jesus would have been found .

    Reply
  98. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    The Lord’s Prayer was taught to us by Jesus Christ, and I believe this should be allowed to be screened. I can’t see why it should offend anyone after all there are sexualised ads, ads for alcohol and so on and they don’t offend me!!

    Reply
  99. Peter
    Peter says:

    I am a born again believer in Jesus. Have I screwed up in life? Yes!! However I firmly believe that anyone that is in need of a saviour, a redeemer, a true friend. Need not search any further. Jesus is the real thing. After all He is the only one that promises eternal life.

    Reply
  100. Sam
    Sam says:

    We are a multi-cultural society which excepts one another, right? Even if people don’t want to accept other people’s faith, isn’t it illegal to ban this advert under the Equality Act?

    Reply
  101. Darren
    Darren says:

    @daniel. While I definitely concurrently that most Christians are hypocrites and adapt the sacred words of the bible to suit their own prejudices, I would just like to point out to you that you are victim to your own judgement and hypocrisy. You condemn Christians that make up their own interpretations of scripture to suit their own ideologies and then later on in that very same comment you do the exact thing you are condemning in Christians. You state scripture and then you state what it is your ideology of that scripture is, hypocrisy thy name is Daniel. Actually, hypocrisy thy name is humanity. We are beggars all!!

    Reply
  102. Ephraim
    Ephraim says:

    Jesus is LORD anywhere and very soon every kneel shall bow and confess Him as Lord. Even the theater owners would be left without a choice. Britain brought the gospel to the world and God never forgets history even if history attempts to forget God. It’s a matter of time God will win.

    Reply
  103. Sue griffin
    Sue griffin says:

    This is rightly a disciples prayer. Jesus spoke it to his followers when they asked him to teach them to pray. If you want to begin to have relationship with God this is the prayer that can help you do that. It initiates conversation and relationship with our Father. It’s so good of God to teach us how to draw close to Him, so that we know Him better. He will prevail over all things, including cinema bans and if you want Him, you will find Him. You are right, it is beautiful

    Reply
  104. PrincessR
    PrincessR says:

    The people banning this and those agree probably were the first to use the hashtags #prayersforparis or #prayforparis. The Lords Prayer was Jesus teaching us how to pray. The irony….

    Reply
  105. Doug Clark
    Doug Clark says:

    As a pastor and missionary for some 50 years (until retirement recently), my hope is that both supporters and objectors to the Lord’s Prayer commercial appearing in cinemas over the holiday will skip down a few sentences and read your exposition of the prayer. You’ve planted that exposition deeply in the human condition. Way to go!

    Reply
  106. Rebecka
    Rebecka says:

    I understand if they banned it. If it would have been accepted, it wouldn’t have stopped all the other religions from having their commercials and it would be some weird kind of competition. Let the cinema be free from religion!

    Reply
  107. Carolyn
    Carolyn says:

    What a really good post! As a born again Christian since December 10 1990, prayer has been an important part of my life! I have seen hundreds of my prayers being answered! The Lord’s Prayer is a model prayer for any person not knowing how to pray! Jesus said ‘pray for your enemies’ a difficult thing to do, but a necessary thing. The apostle Paul tells all believers to ‘pray without ceasing’ why? As James says – ‘the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much’. Prayer is the powerhouse of the Church, it is our secret weapon. We can pray anywhere, at any time, loudly, quietly, in groups, alone, with one or two others! Lately my heart has been moved to pray for our enemies, because members of IS are very very lost! Want to join me any Christians reading this? You can pray about them in your own homes – amazing!

    Reply
  108. Mel
    Mel says:

    I think if the church is willing to pay for the Advert then why can they not show it. It is discrimination based upon religion. Anyone can advertise their wares if their advert is within certain boundaries set by society and I don’t see how this is any different. In answer to the fear that other religions may want to advertise as well – go for it! We can have Pagans and Muslims and Hindus all paying good money to the cinemas for a bit of promotion.

    Reply
  109. Maria
    Maria says:

    I fail to understand why so many Little Church of Englanders are having difficulty seeing this from the advertising agency’s point of view. The advert fell victim to a blanket commercial rule on political and religious advertising. It’s not a personal attack on the Lord’s Prayer.

    Reply
  110. Penny
    Penny says:

    The way I read the information about this, is that the big chains involved have made this decision due to the fact that in future others could produce religious adverts which may not be as calm as this and may advocate racial hatred but because they are religious will have every right to be show, once the Lord pray has made it on to the big screen

    Reply
  111. Carol Rashid
    Carol Rashid says:

    The gift of the Lord’s Prayer is one of uniting in love. Sadly until God’s perfect timing, not every ear can hear to listen; not every eye has sight to witness; not ever mouth has the voice to speak. The call to prayer for the lost is advertising love in action not as a reaction! Hearts are stirring for and against advertising the beauty the words, however, The Lord’s Prayer remains unshakeable and will live on in the hearts and voices of millions now and forever and in generations to come because it is rooted in love ??

    Reply
  112. Carol Rashid
    Carol Rashid says:

    The call to prayer is rooted in love, How we share with one another. Eternal reconciliation to God. Love and forgiveness is the key, Ordinary people in communion; Releasing oppression to be free. Devotional witness from the heart; ‘ Sharing together from far apart. Prayerful humble submission, Reconciliation through love. Agapé all embracing, Yearning to find the lost; Eternity on the horizon loves cost. Robust shepherds caring & sharing.

    Reply
  113. Michael J
    Michael J says:

    In two particular moments of high stress (one combat, one health) I prayed the Lord’s Prayer. With the delivery that followed I lived to become a follower of Jesus.

    Reply
  114. Carolina,
    Carolina, says:

    I’m thankful I’m a Christian, I’m thankful there are good Godly men who love God and mankind. The Lord bless you Bishop Croft.

    Reply
  115. Louise
    Louise says:

    I believe in the Lords prayer, and it’s a guideline how to begin a conversation with God… For those who choose. If you don’t want to, you aren’t forced into it, and have the freedom to choose to see the film…..But how can you see it if it’s being banned?

    Reply
  116. Steve
    Steve says:

    As usual everybody puts their prejudices first and miss the point. Jesus was asked by His disciples to teach them how to pray. The ad was a reminder that God wants us to talk to Him ‘just do it’

    Reply
  117. helene
    helene says:

    The Lord’s Prayer is, I believe, a framework for believers to communicate with the Lord of their life. People can be intimidated by the thought of prayer, which is after all, just a conversation with God. It encapsulates all we need to say, can be expanded as we meditate on the sentiments expressed, and should always come from the heart. Non-believers are unable to grasp the enormous significance of this conversation, and so see no benefit in it, and take offence at its public airing. If we use prayer we should be aware of the identity of the recipient of our prayers, so although I applaud the reason for this advert, I am not sure that it will achieve the objective desired.

    Reply
  118. Ann Weir
    Ann Weir says:

    This is such an encouraging piece about the Lord’s Prayer. People around the globe are being persecuted, beheaded and even crucified for their belief in Jesus. It is not surprising that our secular society can’t sanction the prayer He taught us to say. They have worked so hard to remove Him from our lives. But God will not be mocked. His Word tells us that He will overcome, has overcome by the death of Jesus and will reign forever!

    Reply
  119. Hodor
    Hodor says:

    How comfortable would you be with another religion’s prayers being shown? I’m pretty sure I can dig up an invocation of Baphomet from somewhere; would you be happy for a captive audience of young and impressionable minds to watch this? If not, then perhaps you have a little perspective. Where you see holiness, others see blasphemy. Where you see love, others see toxic codependency. There are those that reject the framework you live under as abusive and exploitative, and there are indeed those that have been abused and exploited by the representatives of your church. Are you able to spare a thought for them?

    Reply
  120. Toby
    Toby says:

    Furthermore, consumerism acts primarily by encouraging a never-ending focus on the self. Consumer objects are very rarely advertised as gifts: instead they extend the (fake and contradictory) promise that an individual can express themselves through what they buy (or rather, buying what they are told to buy). In my reading, it is this ever deepening separation of people from one another which really strikes apart the Christian world-view and society – aided, of course, by the aspects which Bishop Steven has outlined above.

    Reply
  121. Kundo Eastman
    Kundo Eastman says:

    Long years ago a saint said always preach the gospel(good news) and only if necessary use words. Maybe the best way to teach the Lord’s prayer to the world then is NOT through adverts in a cinema but on the quality of the lives of those who use it for prayer.

    Reply
  122. Peter
    Peter says:

    “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Presumably that’s a Christian heaven being made on Earth? Sounds a bit Christianity uber alles to me. Is that wildly different to the IS message? Few corporations threaten eternal damnation if you don’t do what they say. Few corporations have burnt people at the stake for disagreeing with them. Only someone who has found this new identity can stand against the advertising culture. So anybody that doesn’t believe in your God is a worthless, wretched, lost soul I presume. In case you’re wondering, yes, I do find that view offensive. And it’s that view that comes part and parcel with this advert. That, along with the other baggage, make this advert unfit for showing in a cinema.

    Reply
  123. David Osborne
    David Osborne says:

    Isn’t wonderful how all of a sudden The Lord’s Prayer is receiving far more attention than if the screening had gone ahead. Who knows how many people will ‘refresh’ memories that have been clouded by a consumerist society? Let us pray that this will be the outcome.

    Reply
  124. Peter
    Peter says:

    I saw a tapestry the other day. It read; When one has said our Father it is impossible to view anyone else as anything else but a brother or sister.

    Reply
  125. Ken
    Ken says:

    The difference between IS and Jesus is that IS will murder you for your rejection of them whereas Jesus went willingly to His murderers to rescue His enemies from the just consequences of our crimes. There are no fake $3 bills because there are no real ones. There are fake religions because there is a real one. IS is fake, Jesus is real

    Reply
  126. John Mark
    John Mark says:

    The Lords prayer must be offensive to people who hate God and hate the good news. Let chritians like me not feel offended that they banned it in the cinema. let them not sing our song let us sing it louder when they say no. I didnt expect them to approve.

    Reply
  127. Richard B
    Richard B says:

    I don’t think it was Jesus’ prayer, given the forgive us our sins bit. Nor do I believe it’s a prayer for New Covenant children of God, as we’ve for all time been forgiven of all sin. Might want to rethink your understanding of what Jesus is teaching those listening to him…

    Reply
  128. Penny
    Penny says:

    I would love to see this ‘ad’ before Star Wars. However, the reason it has been considered inappropriate is because Cinemas do not show any ads that are religious or political, not because it is The Lords Prayer. I was initially bemused by this ban but can understand it now.

    Reply
  129. Graham Swift.
    Graham Swift. says:

    The Lord’s Prayer is the centre of the Christian belief. It would s the centre of our soul. It is what we pray when we need help, it is what we pray to help others, it is what we pray when we need to get closer to God, it is what we pray to live a good life. For those who pray together, stay together. The Lords Prayer helps us to stay together as one. It is our very being. Jesus gave us this prayer to honour His Father in Heaven. It is a prayer that gives us peace in our hearts.

    Reply
  130. Roo Crawford
    Roo Crawford says:

    I’m Jewish. Why would I want to say a Christian Prayer at the movies. Shall we say the Shema too? Or a Muslim prayer or a Hindo prayer etc etc. I think prayers are personal or for when you are worshiping, not for at the movies

    Reply
  131. Chris Meunier
    Chris Meunier says:

    Dear Peter (at 11:18 am today) I understand why you have taken offence. Advertising, by its very nature either draws you in or leaves you feeling alienated. I’m sure Jesus didn’t want his prayer to be anything other than totally inclusive – counting every human as a ‘child of God’. I agree with the Bishop that each line has power to change and enrich our lives. But it’s also true it does now come with baggage – created by all the many times and ways in which we ‘Christians’ have claimed it for ourselves as ‘special’ people and labeled others as ‘outsiders’. I’m very sorry for that.

    Reply
  132. None ofyourbusiness
    None ofyourbusiness says:

    At the guarantee of being unpopular here, I have to chime in. How dare you try to force your religion on others, especially during their entertainment time. I’m sure if there was a reading of the Quran before the movie many of you would be up in arms! You are fully entitled to support and enjoy your religion, but do not for one second believe you have ANY right to force it onto others! I fully agree with this ban, as religion belongs in your heart, your home, and your place of worship only! Offer it to others ONLY when they ask for it, and leave everyone else alone. Christianity isn’t the beacon of shining light and salvation to everyone, and if you study the history of Christianity, you will not like what you find. Christians have committed genocide against the Native Americans, burnt innocent people for being witches and heretics, and can be directly contributed to more extremist killing than all the extremist groups combined (crusades, etc). So, just maybe, some of us don’t want your prayer because we can’t get behind an institution that cannot respect anyone’s human right to freely choose what they want to believe in.

    Reply
  133. Im a Christian
    Im a Christian says:

    Since when does other Godless people tell us, where, when, how we should quote the Bible, God’s Word, anywhere. The Muslims want to say their prayers on jobs in classrooms, and everywhere they chose, and enforce it by Human Rights. Don’t we have the same Freedom of Expressions in Religion?? We do! But they want us to stop! It is our right under the Constitution. If they don’t like our way of worship, then I say go back home and leave us alone to our rights.

    Reply
  134. Nick Jowett
    Nick Jowett says:

    Wonderful words by Bishop Steven – thank you. But I have two doubts about this whole thing: 1 There is an inter-faith and no-faith issue: if a cinema chain grants access to Christianity, it’s difficult to see how it could draw the line at other expressions of faith. 2 I’ve wondered about a failure by the C of E actually to check out whether this was going to be acceptable BEFORE spending a lot of money on a film like this. But a film with people of different faiths all praying for God’s name to be hallowed, for daily bread for all, for forgivesness etc, now that would be good!

    Reply
  135. Catherine Fitzgerald
    Catherine Fitzgerald says:

    I’m sorry, but when is dictating going to stop, we can’t mention God at school, we can’t mention God at work, we can’t mention God when were are out socially in case we offend someone, what about offending me, it offends me deeply when I can’t speak openly about my God, my Lord and Saviour, seriously we need to cop on and stop this ridiculous snub before it gets out of hand altogether.

    Reply
  136. Leonard Furnell
    Leonard Furnell says:

    It saddens me that affluence within our nation is the route cause to breakdown in family values and our Christian faith. We have so much to be grateful for and we do not appreciate what we have.

    Reply
  137. BM
    BM says:

    With every respect to Bishop Croft for writing this, may I request for completeness and for the benefit of anyone reading this that there is mention made of the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ. It is only because of his perfect life and sacrifice in our place to be the propitiation for our sins that anyone who repents and believes in him will have their sins forgiven and eternal life in heaven. He gave us the great commission to preach this good news to the world. Incomplete it does not give the truth about sin and forgiveness or why Jesus lived and died. He is risen. Hallelujah.

    Reply
  138. E burrows
    E burrows says:

    Unfortunately Christianity and God are sometimes judged on how people who call themselves Christians behave. Nobody is perfect or near it and Christians sin like everyone else. Don’t let the failure of human beings who say they are Christian blur what Christianity is all about…love, loving your neighbour as yourself, forgiveness and not judging others. I think the Lords Prayer is not harmful or offensive to anyone and the world seems to need it today more than ever.

    Reply
  139. Mark Fawcett
    Mark Fawcett says:

    It’s an advertisement like any other ad if it’s something I’m interested in I pay attention if not I ingnore it. If you think you can go through life with out being offended your crazy

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  140. Not Telling
    Not Telling says:

    @None ofyourbusiness: how dare you tell anyone where their religion may go? You exhibit the communal guilt mentality, in suggesting that a Christian now in one part of the world is somehow responsible or implicated in the wrongdoing of others at other times and in other places. The free practice of religion is a human right defined by the United Nations, and one of the elements of Christianity is the command of Christ to spread his good news all across the world.*[see note below] That’s all the ad does. Do you really find it so offensive that people pray? I think you really need to get over yourself. Or perhaps the revelation that Christians (most of them) do genuinely try to practice what they believe is challenging to your comfortable prejudice that we’re all as bad as the things you condemn in your post? True, people who identify/ied themselves as Christians have been guilty of dreadful atrocities at various times and places. As and when they have done so they have been guilty of sin against their Lord and Saviour, as well as against their fellow human beings. But it has been calculated that more people were killed in wars in the 20th Century than in all previous centuries combined, and the greatest killing was in wars begun by atheist and/or anti-Christian regimes. Not saying anyone’s innocent, but that no-one escapes guilt. And that’s what the prayer says: we can’t do on our own the things we know we ought to do, so we ask God to help us do them. We know we are guilty of offence against his love and his way, and we ask both forgiveness for ourselves and the capacity to forgive others. We seek his help and protection in living everyday life the way it ought to be lived. * That, BTW, is the good news of Jesus, not of his people. The church only comes into existence as Jesus is followed. Where we depart from him, we cease truly to be church or Christian.

    Reply
  141. Ian Radford
    Ian Radford says:

    I believe it should not be banned in this country as its a Christian country, In countries that are not Christian it will be offensive yes, but not in this. We in this country let other religions practice their belief, we let them build their churches so why can’t we go to the cinema to hear The lords prayer and pray in our way. If they have freedom of speech then so should we.

    Reply
  142. Andrew Smith
    Andrew Smith says:

    Wow! Look at all these comments (some of which, INMHO are not very clever) ! Not sure it matters whether this ad gets aired in a cinema or not. The exposure this has had has evoked a wave of considered response in any case. Proving the maxim that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Well done Bish(and Justin) for helping to stir opinion. About time the Church was in the thick of it. !!

    Reply
  143. Jeremy Bateman
    Jeremy Bateman says:

    No one has ‘banned the Lord’s Prayer’. The cinema chain hasn’t even ‘banned’ THIS ADVERT. They’ve just decided it’s inappropriate to use it. But let’s go for a dramatic headliine instead of the truth.

    Reply
  144. Mark Frost
    Mark Frost says:

    Excellent article Steven it’s right and you’re right no wonder it’s being banned ! It’s challenging people at the heart of things

    Reply
  145. Paul Mckenzie.
    Paul Mckenzie. says:

    I am true Christian, I believe that everything has a purpose in life for a reason so it can help us to understand things in a logical way, whether it’s through the words we speak, our actions we take whether it’s good or bad, but God shows us the bigger picture where we only see the smaller picture when it comes to faith and religion, we use moving pictures to give us a rough idea on things like a guide book giving directions to historic places or to get from a to b, just like we use the bible for guidance into knowing God and what he cañ do through his holy spirit and other people, take something away from a person and we learn nothing. Show the film.

    Reply
  146. Vincent Christian
    Vincent Christian says:

    I would concur with what the boardrooms of consumer culture if and only the movie production is not a western (civilisation) production. I guess it would be unjust and unfair to impose the Lord’s prayer when the production originates from a non-christian production, but then why ban it from a western christian production.

    Reply
  147. Carol Tyler
    Carol Tyler says:

    Why are people so AFRAID of these words. England is REPORTED to be a CHRISTIAN country. The Nativity plays at Christmas in many schools have been stopped, we have been told that we should take the CHRIST out of CHRISTmas. WHY! I’m glad that at LAST the CHRISTIANS are speaking up. Long may it last. After all we do believe what the BIBLE teaches ,DONT WE?

    Reply
  148. An athiest
    An athiest says:

    For a different view, ask an athiest! I’m not in the slightest offended by this. I know and like people of all faiths. However if I want to pray (I don’t, because it doesn’t actually do anything external to the person themselves) I will find somewhere to do that. A cinema isn’t the place to be promoting your church or prayer. Be respectful of the fact that I have no desire to be involved. Do what you like in church but don’t bring it to me. Ps I was amused by the Christian above using the rant go back home. Hardly a Christian view? Maybe a little more prayer would help them?

    Reply
  149. Ian Lyall
    Ian Lyall says:

    Wise words. Thanks for making stop and think! Outrage initially till we realise that the prayer was given by Jesus to his disciples to pray to their Abba Father which is what the Spirit teaches. The Lord’s prayer can so easily be trivialised

    Reply
  150. No name
    No name says:

    Firstly, I disagree with the comments requesting people to go back where they came from of they don’t like our way of worship……isn’t this kind of attitude where all the problems of the world stem from? It is neither Christian nor helpful. Secondly, this is not about Christians pushing their beliefs onto others – it’s about bringing Christmas back to its true meaning. Balancing out the consumerism with spending a bit of time focusing on Christ (as in CHRISTmas – not Spendasmuchmoneyasyoucan-mas!) I would be interested to know how many people opposed to the showing of this film partake in the celebration of Christmas??? And why, if they find Christianity so offensive?!

    Reply
  151. Dave
    Dave says:

    In response to None ofyourbusiness on 4.41pm 24th November 2015, I have to put up with seeing all kinds of adverts for all sorts of things I don’t want or need, put out by corporations whose imperative is to get me to buy stuff that is wholly unnecessary. Sometimes you just have to put up with seeing stuff you don’t agree with. That’s called life. Get used to it.

    Reply
  152. John S
    John S says:

    wow, noneofyourbusiness, I am going to say you are wrong on a foundational level. two times. You assume and stereotype that other viewers would be ‘up in arms’ if they didn’t like something (muslim prayer) and clearly see that as a bad thing. Then turn around and are ‘up in arms’ yourself. It’s ok if I do it, but wrong if you do it. There is a word for that kind of person. And you uncritically accept the propaganda that Christians are as bad or worse murderers. First, any killing in the name of Christ is clearly not done based on His teaching or the Bible, and as such is not Christian. This is clear to even the most casual readers of the accounts of Christ and his disciples. Those actions were anti-Christian and to be condemned. And you have to reach back centuries to find examples, like the Salem Witch trials which were one town, over one year, affecting less than 200 people. And the crusades were what, 800 years ago? No orthodox, biblical doctrine can be cited in their support. There were political forces at work not just religious. But it appears you are trying to muddy the waters and create the false impression that all ‘religions’ are the same.

    Reply
  153. Hyacinth Bucket
    Hyacinth Bucket says:

    @Noneofyourbusiness – if we didn’t talk to others about our faith then we wouldn’t be living it. To suggest that we should effectively keep our mouths shut until someone asks, shows a misunderstanding of the Christian Faith. People share their faith because they want others to experience God’s goodness. This shouldn’t mean forcing it on people – and I don’t believe this advert does. If you saw someone saying grace in a restaurant before they enjoy their meal, would you walk over to them and ask them to stop forcing their faith onto everyone? Not opening an argument but just trying to come to it with another viewpoint 🙂

    Reply
  154. Mike Miller
    Mike Miller says:

    To None ofyourbusiness there is an element of truth in what you say but it’s mixed with much more untruth. Check history. Re the crusades etc it depends on what the world’s definition of a Christian is as opposed to man’s if you’re angry with the church then fine but to throw insults and none truths around is just ranting nonsense.

    Reply
  155. Unknown
    Unknown says:

    Freedom of speech protects your rights from the government, not private entities. The cinema corporation that made this decision did so knowing full-well some would be upset, and that these people too, as public citizens, would be free to voice their complaints. That’s what freedom of speech is. We do not decide how we will impose our religious ideals based on the impositions of others (for eg Muslims, as Christian mentioned earlier). This decision does not stop anyone from praying. Your belief is not touched by this. The fact is, a private organisation provided you the PRIVILEGE of hearing a prayer that only a minority (and there is no belief/religion that holds a majority) of people say in their own lives. This privilege has been revoked, in the opinion of the cinema, for the sake of fairness to all. Feel free to express the prayer wherever and however you will, but expect others to provide feedback as we are all free to do.

    Reply
  156. Kent
    Kent says:

    Well, the world is heading to hell, it was since the fall. The days of Noah are back and the judgement this time round wont be a flood. Ezekiel said of Gog/Magog, that’s happening as well. SO lets not worry about the prayer. It is a prayer for the believer, lets not put it out their to be mocked. If they don’t want it, they wont have it. Seek and Ye shall find saith the Lord. Don’t throw jewels to the pigs. They will have all eternity to regret this decision. Let him that sin continue to sin. Let him that do good continue to do good.

    Reply
  157. Kikibura
    Kikibura says:

    Great article! And I totally agree. It’s an increasingly narcissistic society. Simply expressing one’s own preferences today is seen largely as a challenge and opposition to the preferences of the other. Ie; Just because I say I like carrots does not automatically imply that I hate parsnips. Or oranges, or whatever the fellow may be eating. I understand with greater depth each day why those that are at enmity with God, are, and why they do not, or as scripture reveals, can not, grasp the truth. Truth is, they are at enmity with themselves, not being able to satiate the infinitely intangible void within us by constantly consuming the finitely tangible. Tragically, in their desperation, they really think it will work.

    Reply
  158. Pam Schroeder
    Pam Schroeder says:

    I still believe we need another comma: And lead us, not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. My Grandfather believed this is how it was meant to be.

    Reply
  159. Bruce Jenner
    Bruce Jenner says:

    For almost 20 centuries wherever this prayer has been prayed in sincerity there has been Christian people showing love, compassion, friendship and care even to the point of giving their lives for others. How we need to live by words like that !

    Reply
  160. David Petersen
    David Petersen says:

    Regardless of anyone’s personal view of The Lord’s Prayer, buying advertising time legally entitles the Church of England to show what they want, provided it’s not misleading, offensive or overtly provocative by normal standards. I don’t think being offended or provoked is a normal or even reasonable response to this feature, any more than the sight of e.g Muslims at prayer offends practising Christians.

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  161. Alice Ridgley
    Alice Ridgley says:

    Gosh, what a dilemma. Stephen Crofts blog is, I find, extremely enlightening and an interesting view of the reasons for the ban. I think that he may have a point. Having said that, we live in such a diverse society now; at the moment emotions are charged. As is typical of human nature, in the light of the refugee crisis, the Paris massacre, the responses there to result in knee jerk emotional,rather than measured responses. The contributor mindyourownbusiness also has a valid point. When we have found something that we feel is vital to survival and contentment we naturally want to share that (as we perceive it) gift. It was seems that, in the light of today’s political correctness,fear of offending etc etc we should rely upon the principles of ATTRACTION RATHER THAN PROMOTION and pray for a successful outcome

    Reply
  162. W. Russell
    W. Russell says:

    We will never be truly free until we have freedom FROM religion. Every time I see someone praying or attend any event in which someone either leads a prayer or is doing so silently, I find comfort in the fact that two hands working will always accomplish more than 1000 folded in prayer. Please do not open the door for all religions, to include Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Satanist, Wiccan, Druid, to demand equal screen time and force feed people of reason or faith to an endless parade of ‘My God is better than your God’.

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  163. Grumpa
    Grumpa says:

    I get offended by many / most advertising. Encouraging us to buy rubbish we dont need…..ban all advertising in the cinema…i came to see a film.

    Reply
  164. Judith Brogdon
    Judith Brogdon says:

    Prayer is for wherever and whenever you feel the need for it. Although it is a personal conversation with God, it can be anywhere at any time.

    Reply
  165. pat ogle
    pat ogle says:

    I have no desire to offend but this country has been a christian country since the for centuries, people have shed blood for the freedom to believe and express their Christian faith here. While i fully respect other people’s faiths, including atheist faith, we are not a one size fits all nation, there are Christian roots in every town and village in this land, and we have a right, almost an obligation, to own them as part of our history and British identity, should we wish to. I would expect no less if I lived in Israel, a muslim, hindu land from their people.

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  166. Thegpswife
    Thegpswife says:

    None ofyourbusiness, Christianity does not force it’s religion onto anyone. The advert does not demand that you stand and put your hands together and pray that prayer, you wouldn’t even need to listen to it, maybe like you don’t at a remembrance service or a church wedding? The issue is one of equality and British Values being maintained. So despite your comments, as a Christian I would not be offended by another religions prayer, I am not offended when a Muslim colleague leaves a ward round in a busy hospital to pray or my medical students take 3 days off to go home to celebrate Eid, whilst I work and pray in my head. Yes Religion has a shady past as to its treatment of others but so has atheism – look at The Gulag, Pol Pot & Hitler; they forced their non-religious ideology onto their people and in the name of atheism slaughtered, so whilst you don’t want the advert, I don’t want the inequality which does not allow freedom of speech to express my belief or indeed yours; this is the UK not Notth Korea!

    Reply
  167. Spencer S Suckling
    Spencer S Suckling says:

    I Love the Lord. But I wonder why we would wish to post such an advert at a ‘Star Wars’ film in the first place? Sure promote the Lord’s Prayer via the digital media, but surely before Coronation Street or Eastenders rather than some hyped up sci-fi film. Secondly, we need to center God back in our country, I’m not demeaning ‘Roo’ or anybody else of different faiths, you can surely promote your own religion should you so wish, but Great Britain is based on Christianity, that is a given. Lastly, if one cannot so Gloriously promote the Lord’s Prayer then JWs must stop cluttering up the pavements with Watch Towers, and Religious clothing must not be worn in open places! Amen

    Reply
  168. SG
    SG says:

    This should be allowed. We are bombarded with every other view under the sun when watching advertising. It’s just an ad – it’s not forcing anything on you, the same as an ad for alcohol is not forcing you to drink. It’s offering an alternative, that’s all. And as for the comments about Christians being worse than all the extremist groups combined, I put it to you that those ‘Christians’ who committed those atrocities are that in name only. True followers of Christ (i.e. Christians) promote love and freedom to choose. Jesus never forced anyone to believe in him or follow him. He never encouraged war or violence. When he was being arrested and Peter cut of one of the soldiers’ ears, Jesus told Peter to put the sword away and then he healed the man’s ear – that’s right, the one who was arresting him in order to torture and persecute him before finally crucifying him on a cross, though no charge could be proven against him. People were naturally drawn to him because he told it like it was and challenged the ‘church’ of the day (the Jewish leaders who were only in it for themselves and to put others down). He stood up for women and orphans and people who society had discarded. He stood for human rights, not against them.

    Reply
  169. Barry Tebb
    Barry Tebb says:

    I was baffled by this until I read the Bishop’s comments.I agree with every word he says.Sadly the Golden Calf,Mammon,call it what you will is the unspoken false faith of this increasingly secular country.Recently I read a theology book by a German Cardinal-famous for his ecumenical beliefs-he reefuses to visit the UK because of the aggressive atheism so rampant here.

    Reply
  170. Patricia
    Patricia says:

    I do not want to hear the Lord’s Prayer in the cinema amongst adverts for popcorn and mobile phones. I don’t want to hear excerpts from the Koran or the Old Testamet, the words of Buddah, the Hindu scriptures or even the Tao te ching. I don’t want to hear about the flying spaghetti monster or any other imaginary deity. I just want to watch a film. Please.

    Reply
  171. Julian - Derby Uk
    Julian - Derby Uk says:

    I don’t count myself as particularly religious, I don’t think that makes me any less spiritual. I find it sad that this has been banned by the cinemas. It doesn’t matter what faith you are from, Christian, Muslim,Sikh etc, prayer is the one way we can connect with each other, our faith and our community in a time of need. It is our only connection with our god whoever you believe him or her to be. I’ve seen the power of prayer, while working on a cancer unit, it unites, it calms,it touches the soul and connects a person to another in a way that nothing else can. Its sad that one of our only connections with something bigger and with each other isn’t valued. What else is left in these troubled times, but to pray for each other? What could people a thousand miles from Paris or Syria do other than Pray for fellow human beings and pray for good, or peace? It’s a huge sadness that whatever your faith, corporations don’t believe in this basic display of hope and unity in such troubled times around the world.

    Reply
  172. Beth
    Beth says:

    All the reasons mentioned above are exactly why we need things like the Lord’s Prayer to be out there in secular culture… It’s not meant for the religious, it’s meant to transform culture, how may it do that if Its not out there? If it’s kept just for Christians? I think it would be great to show this across uk cinemas, where many people can reflect upon its deep truths. People can change, culture can change, if we retreat upon the grounds that the Lord’s Prayer is too holy ( which is what his reasoning amounts to) then I suggest you need to rethink your Christianity, as Jesus was never afraid to enter the cultures around him at the time.

    Reply
  173. Danny Harrison
    Danny Harrison says:

    If we read the reason why the ban is to be implemented, the excuse has nothing whatsoever to do with the other adverts, the ban is due to offending audiences. What audiences? The world around you and I is inhabited by two types of people, those who believe and those who do not. Yet we share the same space. I am never going to watch a horror film with my cinema ticket as i am appalled by some mad lunatic wishing to tuck my thoughts into bed late at night with images of terror and fear. That surely is more offensive than any advert. What is it about the Lord’s Prayer that offends? The prayer is not offered up to Allah perhaps, in our ever increasingly supportive Muslim state? We still call ourselves a Christian country yet we are too scared to stand up for the air that we breathe. if you don’t like an advert because you just want to see films that’s fine, that’s your cue to carrying on talking to your friends or loved ones, no one will be offended, during these ads people just chat anyway and the ads are there for financial purposes. Funny how the moron who plastered the buses with his live as you want to live as there is probably no God anyway campaign got through the censorship unscathed eh. If there is no God, the Lord’s Pray is merely a set of nice words created or designed to ease the foot off the gas driving the world crazy – however if He does exist – I suggest we all pray, because we all need Hid forgiveness. That commercial will never scare anyone half to death, and believe me with some of the rubbish that film makers are spewing out these days, repentance is well needed to calm down the poor soul left in a state by the movies they foolishly paid to see in the first place

    Reply
  174. Rita Wickens
    Rita Wickens says:

    Christmas speaks of the birth of Christ it is a sad day when in what should be a Christian country cinemas can make this kind of decision, it is restricting freedom of religious advertising and speech, some advertising shows sex and violence and they ban something beautiful, I am sure very few people will be offended by The Lord’s Prayer.

    Reply
  175. Jacqui Redfern
    Jacqui Redfern says:

    Thank you so much for explaining the daily relevance of the Lords Prayer. I say this prayer every night and it gives me such strength. Predictions from Luke are floating before me. Hopefully Christians will allow themselves to be looked after by the Lord, and stop being so angry.

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  176. gavin
    gavin says:

    This is a good time for real Christians to be vigilante against the dark forces.Praise our God unceasingly for he has overcome the world

    Reply
  177. Colin Wieland
    Colin Wieland says:

    100% correct decision to ban it. If this is allowed to be screened then all the other crackpot religions as well will justifiably be able to say We want our gods recognised as well. For goodness sake grow up. It’s a bloody cinema not a silly church. Give us our daily bread. Don’t make me laugh. Has there ever been as many as one Christian who was content to make do with absolutely no more than they need? No, of course there hasn’t.

    Reply
  178. Martin
    Martin says:

    Daft. The analysis of the power and the meaning of The Lord’s Prayer is fascinating and no doubt very true in many ways. But the reason for banning the advert is nothing to do with the above analysis. It’s all to do big corporations being averse to the risk of negative publicity coming from over-sensitive minority populations. Which is also daft. There are so many more complex problems on the planet than those surrounding this subject. I wish we could all start accepting that people are different, think differently, and therefore sometimes we’ll annoy, frustrate and upset each other, and that’s ok. Then we could move on and devote the same level of focus to those slightly more serious issues.

    Reply
  179. Canon Ian Draffan
    Canon Ian Draffan says:

    Thank you for a brilliant response to the banning. There is hope and peace in Gods world and the Lord’s Prayer affirms this certainty

    Reply
  180. Danny
    Danny says:

    When are we going to stand up and say, this is a Christian Country & we are proud to proclaim the real meaning of Christmas to ALL people, I am sure people of other faiths would respect this advert, just as I hope we would if we went to another country during their celebrations. I find the Bishops comments and justifications weak, which can only lead to a decline in people considering the true story of the birth of Jesus at Christmas!

    Reply
  181. Ray
    Ray says:

    There is no reason for this film other than a weak attempt at proselytizing. It is good that it is banned. Public displays of religiosity are offensive. Who gives the bishop his right to impose his Christian morality on anyone. Religion like prayer is personal. Keep it to yourself or in this case in the church.

    Reply
  182. John Meason
    John Meason says:

    Our Christian society is being usurped day by day, by the secularist’s who want to keep anything religious out of schools, Parliament, local government and yes, our cinemas. The Lords Prayer is a powerful prayer and have used it for those who are on the verge of death, and have had a reaction from that person who has gone on to die in a very short time, with family astonished by what they have witnessed. So come cinemas corporations, it is not offensive it is stimulating for all faiths and those of none.

    Reply
  183. Beryl
    Beryl says:

    The Lord’s Prayer has been a comfort to me many times and it’s helped me to reach out to others when they have needs as the words cover us and give comfort strength and hope in a world that is changing around us we know that we can trust God to be unchanging and the words are so beautiful they uplift us and encourage us .

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  184. Jan White
    Jan White says:

    The furore caused by the Lords Prayer advert being banned has given an amazing amount of publicity to it thereby it is now reaching thousands more than it would have if the cinema advertising control comoany had not banned it, as everyone is looking at it on line.For thise of us who are Christians and feel hurt by the ban we have to give thanks and remember Everything works together for good for those who love the Lord Romans 8 v28.

    Reply
  185. RogerRat
    RogerRat says:

    Patricia, just because you can’t see God it doesn’t prove His absence. You can’t see electricity, but flick a switch and it works. You can’t see the Internet, but log on and it works. Pray, and God works. Bless you.

    Reply
  186. David
    David says:

    If this ad appears in cinemas, then every other religion will want the same. When the Satanists are applying and receiving ad time in cinemas, will you still want religious dogma and prayer in the cinema?

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  187. janice hogg
    janice hogg says:

    I am saddened to hear thst a prayer thats has helped so.many over the years to find peace and hope has been banned in such troubled times. We fill our minds with violence, war, evil and filth on our big screnes and think its good and wonder why society is so violent. Why not show something which brings peace to fearful and troubled lives.

    Reply
  188. Elyna
    Elyna says:

    Seriously they should allow it, if anyone feels offended then don’t see it plain and simple.. Too many offended people these days grow up and act like an adult instead of a child..

    Reply
  189. Diane Sig
    Diane Sig says:

    I am sad it is banned. The love and promises of God is a wonderful thing to be reminded of. If one person in a theater is feeling lost or depressed this might speak to them, give them hope. Prayer is so very powerful and can speak to people in many different ways. I don’t think a minute of prayer amidst ads before a film is something to get upset over. The people it is upsetting so very much should maybe ask themselves why that is, and is their a deeper reason to their offence. Happy Thanksgiving everyone and may God bless you all.

    Reply
  190. William
    William says:

    if the world doesn’t want it we don’t have to give them. unless there is a special screening for Christian. we can project where the world is going. ..

    Reply
  191. david
    david says:

    if you ban this pray then ban all books on religion some one might read the wrong book and get upset people grow up its a big world

    Reply
  192. Dave
    Dave says:

    Isn’t it false advertising? New and improved washing powder has to prove it removes stains yet I have never been presented with any actual proof that prayer works, just a load of anecdotal evidence

    Reply
  193. Jason Harrison
    Jason Harrison says:

    Statistically speaking, we need to have the truth repeated to us on numerous occasions before we begin to recognise it as such. Anything which helps to publically proclaim the Gospel can only be a good thing, subversive or not, they don’t come much more subversive that Jesus.

    Reply
  194. jeremy hamer
    jeremy hamer says:

    Does the Bishop know 1) Who were the decision makers in the cinema world?, and 2) where do they operate from i.e where are they, where do they live? If not, FIND OUT and GO AFTER THEM. Communicate urgently with them, try some healthy persuasion. GET STUCK IN and change their attitude.

    Reply
  195. Adrian Alker
    Adrian Alker says:

    Totally agree with you Stephen re the Lords Prayer but why does the CofE see films full of war and violence, no matter how popular, as a multi generational cultural event. Far better to be counter cultural and actually begin to critique our love of filmed violence , seen as entertainment, not least when Star Wars is launched a week before we welcome the birth of the Prince of Peace. Too timid C of E!

    Reply
  196. Sally Galar
    Sally Galar says:

    I pray the Lords Prayer every night with my eighty nine year old mother who first taught me to pray. This prayer soothes the raw edges of daily life and fills our hearts with calm and Grace. We continue to take God out of our lives and people do not have hope anymore. Without faith we have nothing! Please rethink this decision!

    Reply
  197. Emma Frankish
    Emma Frankish says:

    I think this is brilliant. I love this prayer but this has renewed my understand of it and the importance of it. Thank you

    Reply
  198. Margaret masterton
    Margaret masterton says:

    In the first line of the prayer, we address God the Father, the prayer is spoken to Him. It is not meant to be an advert, a recording to an audience. The advert is not humans speaking from the heart on the times of broadcasting so it is being misused.

    Reply
  199. Stephen
    Stephen says:

    Perhaps it is simply that the ‘demigods of consumer culture’ are better at seeing the world from another’s point of view than you seem to be. First, consider what other paid advertisements promoting religious views might contain, and then ask what problems a cinema might face in defending a claim of discrimination on religious grounds if the cinemas had already set a precedent by allowing this one. Second, the UK is a multi-faith society and at least some adherents of those faiths do not see evangelism, directed at them and their families, as welcome. Some will see it as an incitement to apostasy and yes, that probably would cause offence. The fact that _you_ are not offended by it is not the point.

    Reply
  200. David L
    David L says:

    Re Dave’s comment re proof & prayer – if you want to look at scientists’ examination of prayer, see Spindrift’s research or books by Larry Dossey (espec. Healing Words), for example.

    Reply
  201. Adrienne
    Adrienne says:

    Wow, very self centred. The Lord’s Prayer may have been the first thing you learned as a child but not everyone’s a Christian. I’ll bet 2/3 of the planet didn’t learn it. I’ll also bet if it was a film about a muslims or satanists or being an atheist it would create an outcry.

    Reply
  202. Marisa Dunn
    Marisa Dunn says:

    When you push God out you invite evil in. Those who do agree with this ban and those who do not believe in God what I want to ask is when terrible hurts or tragedy happen in your lives who is it you cry out to for help? It is wrong to ban this prayer and I find it offensive to do so.

    Reply
  203. Jim
    Jim says:

    The first thing we all should know is that we are Spirits. You Are a Spirit, you have a soul and You live in a body (your body is to enable you live here on earth). Second thing, we are not from here (earth). We are from were our Father is, we are supposed to colonise planet earth with were we are Heaven. But we are given a life of liberty when we arrive here so figure out your purpose here… At the end you give your report what you did in your quest (with what was given to you). Some feel they own themselves, if you do, I guess you should be able to stay alive and not die.

    Reply
  204. Barbara Burch
    Barbara Burch says:

    Whatever our view as to this film being screened or not, praise God,in His sovereign power He is and will use the publicity for His glory!

    Reply
  205. Roger Verrall
    Roger Verrall says:

    Great exposition of the Lords Prayer irrespective of the the ban or not. A perfect base for reflection on this most important prayer. Thank you Bishop Stephen

    Reply
  206. Fiona Bower
    Fiona Bower says:

    The advert is the teaching of Jesus. Many people do not know how to pray. Do not know God. When you pray regularly and see amazing answers to pray you should share this with others.

    Reply
  207. Iftekhar Bukhari
    Iftekhar Bukhari says:

    A beutifully and cogently argued response to the counter culture that is consumerism. The Lord’s Prayer is a wonderful expression of man kinds real position in Gods creation. I wouldn’t be offended, surprised perhaps, but definitely not offended were the Lord’s Prayer to be broadcast before a movie, o therefore hope the cinemas reconsider.

    Reply
  208. Mark
    Mark says:

    The superiority and arrogance on display here is quite stunning.’Only someone who has found this new identity can stand against the advertising culture which night and day seduces us to define who we are by what we spend’. Really? So as I don’t believe in the man made concept of ‘God’ I clearly cannot think for myself.

    Reply
  209. Eric Yandell
    Eric Yandell says:

    Freedom of speech is exactly why it’s okay for cinemas not to show this ad for christianity, no one can make them deliver a specific religious message. I also don’t think it’s been banned per se, that seems to imply it’s showing has been prohibited by the government or some other power as opposed to the decision being my by the cinema’s choice.

    Reply
  210. Camper
    Camper says:

    I completely agree that this commercial should not be run ahead of movies in cinema. However, I disagree with your rationale. Your point seems to revolve around the assumption that people have to dwell in a particular mindset and utilize the prayer as a devotional, confirmation act of unity in purpose. My interpretation of your piece leads me to believe you think the prayer should only be said by those willing to, or spiritually up to, accepting the will of God. While I concede the sentiment and believe it’s a fair point, I think you’re missing the larger issue. Prayer and, moreover, belief in a deity or practice of faith is a personal process. Screening the commercial in a movie theater disregards the basic fact that people who’ve paid good money to see a movie may be atheist, agnostic, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, or any of the hundreds of theological philosophies and religions in our world. The commercial only affirms the faith of a few while marginalizing the faith of others in house. Christianity, and it’s subgroups, are complicated in structure and thought. No parent should have to try to explain the concept of prayer or a particular faith in the brief silence between previews or ads. It’s frankly disrespectful to the theater owners and other patrons. If faith is such an important discussion to be had, shoehorning the directive to pray between the trailer for a raunchy comedy and a dancing hot dog is diminishing the message. Not to mention the fact that the pros who funded this commercial are potentially putting people at risk. With the threats by Isis, why would ANYONE place such a controversial religious advertisement in a place where patrons are unwilling or unsuspecting participants in a proclamation of faith. Isis could interpret the ticket buyer or movie theaters as opponents of Islam and use that as an excuse for violence. While some might argue that I’m being irrational or alarmist, I would ask them if they think religious terrorism is based in rational behavior? Proselytizing people in a movie theater is tacky. Suggesting that everyone pray in a theater and depicting a couple in Islamic dress saying the Lord’s prayer (about midway through the ad) is downright irresponsible.

    Reply
  211. Camper
    Camper says:

    @Elyna- So, if I understand you correctly, you’re saying that if I plunked down $10 to see a Star Wars film and this commercial came on, I should just leave? Am I not entitled to see the movie I paid to see? If you paid to go see the movie and the cinema allowed a commercial encouraging everyone to proclaim devotion to Allah or join Isis, would you sit quietly? Or, would you leave, as you direct people to do here, and forego the entertainment you paid for? Further, I suspect you’d next say that people can leave and get a refund. So, why should Lucas Films or a cinema owner take a financial hit when people exit enough masse and demand refunds? Think it through. Further, how will you feel if terrorist groups see this commercial as a reason to execute all those who stay behind to watch the movie because, as you suggest, staying in the theater is an outward display of solidarity to the Christian faith? Is it fair to a Jewish patent who, as the lights dim and the movie starts, has to explain to his/her child what this prayer is and what it means to say it? There’s a time for every purpose… this is not the appropriate time for this purpose. @Jason Harris- so, if I send a representative from the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints (Mormon), Scientology, and Isis into a screening of a Disney movie, you will defend that action because it serves religion? If I use subversive tactics, like handing out fortune cookies with passages from the Koran or Torah secured inside to your child, you’ll support that subversion because I only intend to spread God’s message? Good to know. The ends don’t ALWAYS justify the means and the hypocrisy of your claim is astounding. @Roger Rat- Actually, you can see electricity and I don’t have faith that the switch will turn the light on…I have 41 years of empirical data, numerous tangible and physically reproducible examples, and ways to test my knowledge of electricity to base my expectations/faith in the lights on. Your secondary comparison of the internet to God is equally poor and flawed. The internet was literally created by humans with a reproducible set of parameters and scientific principles. I can see it, touch it, and even reproduce it. Your deity has no such replicable parameters. @Jason – As a Christian, I find your assertion that secularists are attacking people of faith to be false. No one has stepped into your home and told you you can’t pray. No one has entered your business and prevented you from repeating the Lord’s prayer in your head on constant loop, if that’s your choice. No one has walked into a house of worship and shouted that God is a joke and you are subject to ridicule because of your beliefs. No one takes you to task for saying a little prayer in restaurants or reading a Bible on the Tube or Metro. No one has thrown you into a camp with other Christians and forced you to wear symbolic crosses on your arm or taken your business and home away because of your faith. Those are examples of true persecution. Having your beliefs challenged online or having secularists object to blatant proselytizing isn’t persecution. You are not a victim. Suggesting you are is an affront to those who have literally been killed for their beliefs. Secularists don’t give a hoot about what you and I do in our personal quest for Grace. They rightfully care when we use our personal beliefs as a basis to claim special status or attempt to utilize subversive means to push the message. @Gavin – your mindset is scary.

    Reply
  212. Dennis
    Dennis says:

    Would the same officials ban a Hindu prayer? A Muslim prayer? A Wiccan incantation ?A Native Anerican prayer to ancestors? Get my drift? I do not need to go to a movie theater to pray. Enough already!

    Reply
  213. Janet Daniels
    Janet Daniels says:

    I thought the film was beautifully made and would not upset or insult anyone.Why shouldn’t we show our Christian beliefs. We use to have the national anthem at the end of a film years ago.Why was that stopped?

    Reply
  214. Joanne Gilchrist
    Joanne Gilchrist says:

    Thank you for writing this inspiring, slightly satirical and stunningly bold blog post, reminding me that prayer is power and has the power to shape my life. Keep Writing.

    Reply
  215. David Mckenzie
    David Mckenzie says:

    Camper seems confused about what is advertised in cinemas. No advert appeals to all viewers and no one demands that Cocacola should not run because it excludes wine drinkers. Many western advertisements already offend certain faiths and cultures because of their dress, their interactions between men and women and so on, but they aren’t banned as a terrorist risk. No one leaves a cinema because they don’t like an advertisement and parents don’t explain advertisements to children in cinemas…they tell them the film will be on soon. The previous comments miss the point of advertising…to reinforce a belief or propensity already present in a target group. This advertisement does that in a powerful but inoffensive way…almost certainly less offensive than most commercial advertisements. It clearly shows how tacky commercial advertising is, which is another good reason to run it.

    Reply
  216. Jacques Q Du Plooy
    Jacques Q Du Plooy says:

    Ill say this . and ill say this once . Be careful how U judge the words of the Almighty and Living God . On the day For instance they will say, “Come to us.” The Bible says, “Go to the people.” The church says, “You are blessed, you are a King’s kid, you do not need to suffer.” Christ says, “Take up your cross and follow Me.” The church says, “Lie down and laugh.” The Bible says, “Humble yourselves, pray and weep.” The church says, “We have the victory, we are safe, we are going to get raptured.” The Bible says, “Persecution is coming and it is coming to the church first.” The church says, “Give us your money.” The Bible says, “Feed the widows, the orphans and the needy.” The church says, “We have all the signs and wonders.” Christ says, “Only a wicked and adulterous generation looks for signs and wonders.” The church says, “You must be holy. You may not watch TV, drink alcohol, read certain books and and and…” The Bible says, “Holiness is to set yourself apart. Get your heart in line with God’s heart.” God is more concerned with what is happening in your heart than with what you are trying to do to make yourself “holy”. IF u start looking for the truth one will see that the church is fake . The only way of truth . IS with God .

    Reply
  217. victoriousme
    victoriousme says:

    Revelation 22:18-19 18…….for I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto this things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19……… And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and of the things, which are written in this book

    Reply
  218. Dave P, Wales
    Dave P, Wales says:

    How would the Church of England feel about a Muslim prayer being shown, or a Hindu one? The church has been urging us to pray for two thousand years and still cannot prove that anyone is listening.

    Reply
  219. Thomas Dogg
    Thomas Dogg says:

    On one hand the cinema seems a perfect place for your prayer. People attend cinema to escape from reality for a few hours. Maybe to lose themselves in a fantasy for a while. With this in mind your prayer seem to fit the cinema quite well. On the other hand vulnerable people may be unable to differentiate your fantasy from reality. On the whole I think it’s best you keep your prayers where they belong. In a church

    Reply
  220. Abaye Joy
    Abaye Joy says:

    lots of error has entered the Church, we are really in the end times Only God may help us In this part of the world occult have taken over the church of the Lord and the strange men are manipulating the same souls that Christ died to SeT free

    Reply
  221. Bob S Australia
    Bob S Australia says:

    If I get to the end of my life and find that the christian way of life has been based on a myth at least I will know that I did all I could in sharing love, support and friendship with all that I met, on the other hand if you believe Christianity is a myth and you get to the end of your life and you find the Christians have it right you are going to be very disappointed and sorry. I believe as the prayer starts Our Father who art in heaven.

    Reply
  222. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    Prayer is a way of teaching us that we are not alone in this world, that a higher power can and does give us strength and a purpose, prayer is a constant part of my life I pray unceasingly, and receive comfort and fortitude from it,

    Reply
  223. Sharleen Farrington
    Sharleen Farrington says:

    I would not start a day without first praying. I believe in a wonderful loving and caring Father in heaven. I do this because I believe there is a heaven and someday I will be there. If it’s not true than I’ve lost nothing, but oh glory be if it is than what a glorious day it’s going to be when I do get there. I came from a pretty bad life of 34 yrs and began a life living for Jesus. My life has been so much better and I have not been sorry a day since making that decision. Like I said I’ve lost nothing but gained a hope that I will pass on to as many as I can.

    Reply
  224. Cyril M Russell Howland ,Jr.
    Cyril M Russell Howland ,Jr. says:

    What is so sad is that people try to reinvent the one true God , and His son Jesus Christ , If praying and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ offends you then most likely you are not saved , and on the way to hell. There is only. One true way for salvation , and that is Jesus Christ , and excepting him as your Lord and Savior, all other religions are a lie , and you can not live a good life and get into Heaven . I say all this in Christan Love for everyone , I do not want anyone to go to hell. Romans 10;13. ??

    Reply
  225. anonymous
    anonymous says:

    England is supposedly a Christian country and if you go to countries that practise religion, you either work with what they do or leave and you can be arrested even showing arms or legs in some countries due to their religious practises so England should have some backbone just as the other countries do with their beliefs so the question is really whether England is a Christian country? Do they pick the bits which suits them? Should people be able to bring religion to England and be offended by what the country does and have England twist and bend to suit those who come in (everybody cannot be satisfied) when this is not done when people from England chose to live on another country? If those who were born and bred in England chose not to abide with its beliefs then should those who do have to compromise if they feel offended by it yet chose to remain there? The gospel should never be compromised and those that are not keen can always find somewhere who’s practises are more suited but getting down to the REAL nitty gritty, we could ask if it is REALLY the public that are complaining in the first place or a way to phase the true God out of the country and become non Christian if ever England TRULY was? What does England have as an identity at all and when do they EVER promote Christ? Will hymns be removed from schools next? They probarbly already have.

    Reply
  226. Will
    Will says:

    Its comforting too know, that God is in charge. And, the truth of Jesus Christ, and his sacrifice for you, and me. By his stripes we are healed, and have forgiveness, through his blood. For those who choose, to ignore his perfect love, and embrace this world, then they have made the decision, to deny Christ. I ask myself, why do those that deny Christ, feel the desire, or need to defend their personal decision denying, his LOVE, and I can only conclude they love this world. The love of this world, cannot coincide with Christ. The world despised him when he lived on earth, and they despise him now. But he is our Savior, our mercy, and our truth.

    Reply
  227. MLS
    MLS says:

    I Am right with you that England is bending over backward to please every Tom Dick and Harry but forgetting our Lord Jesus.

    Reply
  228. John lyons
    John lyons says:

    Yet Islamic SUBHAN ALLAH is allowed on buses. R Egardless of whom this might legitimately offend? Where arenthe liberals and atheists? What has happened to England?

    Reply
  229. Ashley
    Ashley says:

    Such a shame that nowadays we are concerned with offending people with Christianity when we should be able to rejoice in Gods light.

    Reply
  230. robin
    robin says:

    this is not the lords prayer so should be beaned . For the real and proper LORDS prayer you need to go to JOHN CHAPTER 17.

    Reply

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