The Shofar is the ancient trumpet which called the people of God to prayer, repentance, sacrifice and war.

Wednesday 19th January 2005: 1:00pm

Fundraising Concert at Chelmsford Cathedral   

The presence of members of the cast of "Jerry Springer the Opera" in a fundraising concert at Chelmsford Cathedral was described today as a 'deliberate insult' to Christians.  The cast are joining performers from other West End shows on Sunday to raise money for the Tsunami appeal.

Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, said today: "It is ironic to say the least that a group of foul-mouthed reprobates who blaspheme Jesus Christ every night of the week at the Cambridge Theatre think they can stand up and sing piously raising money for charity on a Sunday in church.  What a bunch of hypocrites they are."

"The Cathedral authorities probably invited them before the screening of the work on BBC2 last Saturday week, in ignorance of the sheer scale of the blasphemy in Jerry Springer.  But now they know just how bad it is, the Bishop and the Dean of Chelmsford Cathedral must make clear that blasphemers are not welcome in Chelmsford Cathedral.  Alternatively, the members of the Jerry Springer cast themselves could withdraw."

However, the Bishop's Chaplain, Rev Chris Newlands, said today: "Jerry Springer the Opera is a piece of art.  I don't see anything blasphemous in it."  He said the cast only sang obscenities "in character" and that scenes of Jesus as a sexual deviant wearing a nappy ”just exist in the Jerry Springer character's imagination."

Dismissing Mr Newland's view as "liberalism gone off the wall," Stephen Green said, "To allow those who let obscenity come out of their mouth every night and are partakers in a mockery of our Saviour to perform in Chelmsford Cathedral as if butter wouldn't melt in their mouths is as much a deliberate insult to the Christian Community as the broadcast of 'Springer' on BBC2 was.  

"David Bedella is scheduled performer at the Chelmsford Cathedral event.  As Satan in 'Springer', he tells Jesus to "F*** off".  Bedella is a practising homosexual whose 'partner' is one 'Rev' Pressley Sutherland, pastor of the North London Metropolitan Community Church . 

Benjamin Lake, who on stage depicts God as an ineffectual old fool who needs Jerry Springer's shoulder to cry on, and Claire Platt, responsible for the character of Mary, who accuses Jesus of neglecting her by going to the cross and leads a general condemnation of Him, are also taking part. 

"One reason why our society is fragmenting, with family breakdown increasing, violence and drug-taking escalating, and a culture of lies and disrespect gaining ground all the time, is because so many of those who lead our national established church don't know the difference between right and wrong.  There are clergymen, and bishops, who wouldn't know holiness or righteousness if they stared them in the face.  

"I very much pray that true Christians will boycott the concert and give the money direct to the Tsunami Appeal.  By attending Chelmsford Cathedral that night, they will be supporting blasphemy, unless they buy their ticket specifically to protest.  I also pray that there will be a prayer vigil of sincere Christians standing up for the name of Jesus outside Chelmsford Cathedral on Sunday night, if the Cathedral authorities are provocative enough allow this disgrace to the name of Jesus Christ to go ahead."