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S0Noma
12-21-2006, 03:18 PM
Kids' tears over vicar's Santa message

CHILDREN left a school Christmas assembly in tears after claiming a vicar said Father Christmas does not exist.

Teachers at St George's C of E Primary in Mossley told the Rev Martin Dowland he had upset children after reading `Why Jesus Is Better Than Santa Claus'.

It was during the reading with colleague the Rev Richard Lindsay, of St George's Church, that Mr Dowland is reported to have said:"You all should know by now that he (Santa Claus) is not real." Parents said they were stunned. And Mr Dowland, of St Mary's Church, Haughton Green, said a teacher made him aware some children were upset, but denied he actually said Santa was not real.

Mr Dowland has now issued an apology and said he is `deeply sorry' if he has spoiled Christmas for the children. The reading by the vicar included the lines `Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly ... Jesus has a heart full of love'.

He also made reference to Santa coming down the chimney and entering their home uninvited. One 10-year-old girl who was at the assembly said: "I don't think it's very good that someone tells young children Santa Claus isn't real - and it's not very nice."

Her mother said: "Santa Claus is part of the magic of Christmas.

"We all know that as children grow up, the magic begins to fade, but it's wrong of the clergy to take it away from some of them at such a young age. The Church is perhaps trying to make clear the message of Christmas, but that's not the right way to go about it."

Comparison

The mother of a 10-year-old boy said: "My son came out and he asked me should he believe or not. I didn't know what to say. They are only kids and they are making them grow up too fast."

Mr Dowland denied saying Santa Claus is not real, but when asked what he did say, he refused to comment. He issued a statement which said his intention was to present a comparison between Santa Claus and Jesus.

He added: "Its purpose was to show that Jesus is superior to Santa Claus, not to tell them that Santa Claus does not exist. If I did not take seriously that many children believe in Santa Claus, there would be no need to compare him with Jesus.

"If I offended any children, teachers or parents by what I said, or have in any way spoiled their Christmas, then I am deeply sorry. That was certainly not my intention.

"I apologise unreservedly, and add my very best wishes for a happy Christmas - in the hope both Santa Claus and Jesus bring them all they could wish for."

When the M.E.N. tracked down Santa in Lapland, he said: "I'm sure the vicar didn't mean to give the impression I'm not real.

"I can promise all your young readers I will definitely be there on Christmas Eve - so don't forget to leave out a mince pie and, of course, a carrot for Rudolph."

web page (http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/231/231338_kids_tears_over_vicars_santa_message.html)

pooltchr
12-21-2006, 04:01 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote S0Noma:</font><hr>
The mother of a 10-year-old boy said: "My son came out and he asked me should he believe or not. I didn't know what to say. They are only kids and they are making them grow up too fast." <hr /></blockquote>

As I recall, by the time I was 10, I had a fairly good grip on the concept of the reality of Santa Clause. And these days, 10 year olds are more likely thinking about sex than Santa!
Steve