A gay former choir member of Llandaff Cathedral has claimed he was recently the target of homophobic bullying by his former colleagues, who put together a spoof script making implicit references and innuendos to his sexuality.
WalesOnline reports Dr Adam Poole, who left the choir earlier this year, said he was upset and saddened when he recently found out about the script, which was written back in September.
Titled “Landaft,” the spoof pokes fun at an incident involving three members of the choir, including Dr Poole, who complained about the offered rate of pay for appearing on BBC’s Songs of Praise programme.
The script goes on to reference a mock charity called Action Against Rogue Singers (AARS), and makes references appearing to mock individuals presumed to be gay.
Dr Poole also believes that an Archbishop “being played by Anthony Hopkins” is a reference to the actor’s role as Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs.
The 42-year-old told WalesOnline: “What distressed me when I read Landaft was that, even though I have not set foot in Llandaff Cathedral since Christmas Day last year, there is a vicious, nasty culture in the choir where it is OK to mock, bully and insult.
“I object to being labelled a ‘fool’, an ‘aars’, and to the bullying and sexual stereotyping. Every one of the people who received Landaft is a paid employee of the cathedral. Anyone could have reached out to me, but none did.
“I put my sadness into writing to the Chapter, Executive, and every Bishop in Wales on Tuesday this week and I have not heard from one of them – other than a pastoral phone call from Canon Holcombe.
“I’ve had an association of 18 years with the choir – eight as a child and 10 as an adult. But it’s not what it was and while it’s sad, I don’t regret leaving.”
Dr Poole, together with Matthew Mudge, who is a current choir member also offended by Landaft, wrote a letter of complaint to senior Church in Wales officials.
In a statement responding to Dr Poole’s allegations, The Church in Wales said: “Llandaff Cathedral has policies in place to deal with disciplinary and grievance procedures and cannot comment on specific cases as clearly they are confidential.
“The Dean and Chapter are responsible for the running of the Cathedral, not the Archbishop of Wales, nor the other Welsh bishops.”
Last year, a Welsh Government investigation was carried out into PinkNews.co.uk’s revelation that the Catholic Education Service encouraged schools to promote a petition against same-sex marriage has concluded that this may have led to schools breaking laws on political balance.