Bishop of Arundel criticises 'meaningless' Halloween
A bishop has urged parents not to let their children dress up in ghoulish gear in the run up to Halloween.
The Rt Rev Kieran Conry, the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, wants to reclaim the festival as a Christian celebration.
He suggested children should dress up as saints rather than traditional Halloween garb.
In the Christian calendar, Halloween falls on the day before All Hallows' Day, a day to honour all the saints.
The Rt Rev Conry said Halloween had "no meaning to it whatsoever" and was a waste of money for parents.
"This is an opportunity to spread the gospel in a slightly different way," he said.
"Shift the focus away from the ghouls, the dead and the spirits, and shift it back to where it originally was at this time," he said.
"I'm not saying it's the work of the devil, but I think we could do something different with it and spare the expense for parents.
"I think it's fairly innocuous, but there's no meaning to it whatsoever, so the kids are dressing up, probably scaring one another sometimes, for no purpose."
Frank Furedi, the professor of sociology at the University of Kent, disagrees.
He said: "The idea that somehow this is bad for children and they need to be re-educated about the different practices doesn't make any sense at all."