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Published on August 3rd, 2011 | by Meredith Burdett

The Ultimate Time Lord?

A church in Cardiff has come up against a few complaints after it used Doctor Who related pictures to raise the profile of its religious summer club that is due to take place.

Using images of the TARDIS, the adverts invited children to come and meet “the ultimate Time Lord”. BBC Wales has already gone on record to state that the event is far from official and is nothing to do with the corporation; they did wish the event the best of luck however.

Lorraine Barrett, a Humanist, was less than impressed the use of Doctor Who alongside religion, stating:

“I would have to ask the question why this church wants to hide behind the facade of a Doctor Who event, and not be upfront to say this is a church-run event.”

The fairly obvious answer would be that it’s very difficult to get children interested in religion these days and a bit of prompting with Doctor Who is bound to do the trick for them. Not everyone follows the same religion or even any religion at all but surely a child should be allowed to make that choice for themselves? If the church is trying to make the summer event a little bit more inviting with the use of some Doctor Who related activities then so be it.

The event starts at the end of August.


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About the Author


What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!

9 Responses to The Ultimate Time Lord?

  1. avatar Marcus says:

    “If the church is trying to make the summer event a little bit more inviting with the use of some Doctor Who related activities then so be it.”
    ..except that Russell T and the Moff are both aetheist (russel T overtly so) and would probably be horrified about this.

    • Why “horrified”? Are the children going to be murdered or sold into slavery? Is there any suggestion of mistreatment, or will these youngsters be learning about a nice bloke who was nice to other people and then got crucified?

      Surely they will also be learning a bit about the world and the people that live in it, and their beliefs?

      Not sure horrified is the right word. If it is then clearly The Grand Moff and RTD have too much time on their hands…

      As for RTD being an atheist, he’s certainly not afraid of using blatantly religious iconography in his work, particularly Doctor Who. No reason why a church shouldn’t get something back from this.

  2. avatar Peter lee says:

    Tricky topic this one. We have a similar Christian group in town, who are ALSO using Doctor Who as a front. Literally. Kids enter ‘the event’ via a chipboard tardis, to meet their maker. This occurs on a public beach, with the Christian agenda being suspiciously played down.

    My kids joined in, thinking it was a Doctor Who event. I was horrified. I still am, even with NO time on my hands.

    • Interesting.

      If we’re talking about a misleading event such as this, then that’s pretty shocking.

      The problem with organized Christianity (as with any organized religion) is that it ends up being twisted to the whims of those in charge. Blatantly tricking kids into church like this doesn’t sound like any sort of fun.

  3. avatar Luke says:

    While I don’t think this is a huge issue (copyright aside??), even during my regrettable period as a Christian I used to feel slightly uneasy that churches put on these ‘holiday clubs’ simply to proselytise.

  4. avatar Simon says:

    That’s all very well and good, unfortunately LEADING representatives (not parishioners) of religions have other ideas… the sad truth is reliogions have never really been about choice in most countries, but more expected of children. Even I was raised as a Protestant with Celtic roots, though for a long time I’ve abandoned religion in favour of a Foundationalist philosophy.

    New religions that have lasted for generations are adaptations of those that have been around for centuries and these so-called “temporal powers” have no intention of allowing religions from a Pop Culture phenomenon sideline their almost zealous followings.

  5. avatar Peter says:

    I would be uncomfortable with my kids being enticed in to this. There are many wonderful Christians around but I do find many Christian beliefs as weird as I would those of other less established religious groups. Kids are used to product advertising but I think they would find it confusing to follow the Who brand and be confronted with something they were less equipped to deal with.

  6. avatar Bob James says:

    Whatever anyones personal beliefs, I still find it sad that anyone still feels the need to “sell” Jesus Christ to anyone, especially children. That is not how anyone comes to faith, or disbelief………

    • avatar ChrisL says:

      Unfortunately Bob, this is ‘precisely’ how most people come to follow a particular religion.
      Indoctrination of children into a specific belief system (whether deliberate or not) is an unavoidable consequence of religious belief. I doubt many Christian parents would take their children to a Mosque, no matter how many images of a Tardis were displayed outside.

      This is just blatant opportunism by the church in question and, whilst I may admire their ingenuity, I cannot condone this merging of two separate myths – one exciting and enjoyable, the other scary and disturbing.

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