Sheffield & South Yorkshire

LGBT grooming claims vicar 'knows nothing', says peer

St Alban's church Image copyright Google
Image caption Peter Hughes, vicar of St Alban's, made the comments in a parish magazine

A vicar has described LGBT inclusive education in schools as "a form of child grooming" that "opens the door for sexual predators".

The Reverend Peter Hughes, of St Alban's, Wickersley near Rotherham in South Yorkshire, made the comments in a parish magazine.

Mr Hughes is also a school governor at St Alban's CofE Primary School.

Paul Scriven, a Liberal Democrat peer, said: "He's a fool, I think he knows nothing about what's going on."

Mr Hughes's three-page letter in the St Alban's parish magazine said: "This sexual indoctrination of young children prepares them for early sexual experimentation, normalises it and, in so doing, opens the door for sexual predators.

"The UK government's proposed Relationships and Sexual Education (RSE) programme is nothing but state-sponsored child abuse."

Lord Scriven, former leader of Sheffield Council, said: "He doesn't have the right to use these opinions to stop young people being taught to understand the world they inherit.

"He is quite right to have his personal opinions; I think they're wrong and outdated."

Primary and secondary pupils in England are to learn about relationships as part of compulsory lessons from September 2020.

The school and its trust jointly said Mr Hughes was entitled to his views, which they did not share.

"There is a due process if we feel any governor has brought the school or academy into disrepute," a statement said.

"That process has begun, which does of course include a full investigation before a decision is made."

The Reverend Huw Thomas, the Diocese of Sheffield's director of education, said the views were "personal" ones.

"These views are not shared by the Diocese of Sheffield and the language used is regrettable," he said.

Mr Thomas added parents had the right to "exercise discretion in withdrawing their children from sex education".

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