The Church of England has received criticism after its official Twitter account tweeted a joke about Katie Price in response to a question about its opposition to equal marriage. 

The church tweeted a joke about Katie Price, saying “Jordan” is referred to in the Old Testament, before conceding that its opposition to equal marriage had a negative effect on gay people.

Twitter user @Just_Skippy, who describes himself as a “39-year-old sort of builder from Birmingham”, tweeted the Church of England’s official page.

He said: “Can I ask what @c_of_e thinks about Katie Price marrying for 3rd time making a mockery of marriage yet you are against Homosexual marriage.”

The church responded, referring to Katie Price’s former glamour modelling career, during which she was called Jordan, saying: “We don’t have an official policy on Katie Price. Having said that, Jordan gets quite a few mentions in the Old Testament”

The user, who’s Twitter bio reads “It’s me, Chris”, replied saying: “Oh that has made me laugh, I could almost forgive you on your stance on gay marriage but I won’t.”

The church then tweeted back, seemingly conceding the negative impact its opposition to equal marriage can have on gay people, by saying: “Glad we could be source of joy as well as – sadly – disquiet for you. Blessings.”

Twitter user @SwinBox, responded to say: “It’s offensive to make jokes when so many hurtful things have been said about gay people in the debate around marriage… catch up with the rest of society and embrace equal marriage.”

Other Twitter users joined the debate to say that most Church of England parishes would not allow Ms Price to marry multiple times anyway, the Daily Mail reports.

Officially opposed to plans to legalise equal marriage, recent reports have suggested that the Church of England may consider allowing gay couples to have their civil partnerships blessed in churches.

A growing list of CofE clergy members have called for ceremonies to be allowed for gay couples. The Dean of St Paul’s cathedral Dr David Ison called on the church to embrace equal marriage back in March, and last week The Dean of Worcester wrote an opinion piece laying out his reasons for supporting marriage equality.

The Church recently dropped its prohibition on gay clergy becoming bishops, so long as they are in celibate or in celibate civil partnerships, proving controversial for some followers. 

MPs will debate and vote on the government’s equal marriage plans for England and Wales before next month’s Valentine’s Day.

Katie Price recently married her husband Kieran Hayler in the Caribbean. He is a stripper, has appeared on gay porn sites, and was described by a national newspaper as a “gay icon”.