A vicar has said the “body is a beautiful thing but there is a time and place for it” after an escort posted photos of herself naked in church, but called the stunt "shameless" and "sacrilegious".
The escort, known only as Gemma, posted the photos of her inside St Bartholomew's Church in the village of Goodnestone, Kent, on a website. One image shows the 22-year-old kneeling down naked on the church altar as she rests her hands on a crucifix - with the stained glass window of the church in the background.
Other images show 'Gemma' from Margate, Kent, naked on a gravestone in the grounds of the 12th century church as leers over a crucifix. Although the church is no longer used for services it us open to the public after being put under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust and designated a Grade I listed building. Reverend John Leach, of St John's Church in nearby Folkestone, Kent, said he was appalled that the sex worker was using the church to sell her services. He said: "The pictures show the loss of the sense of sacred we have in society in general.
"I think it's not on really and it's something I deplore. I think the whole thing is shameless and shows no consideration for those who may have walked past and seen it by accident. "There are those who will be repulsed by the sacrilegious side of it." Another vicar, Reverend Andy Bawtree of St Peter & St Paul Church near Dover, Kent, said: "Although God made the human body a beautiful thing, there is a time and a place for it. "I think this is just sad this young lady has decided to use the church, which is a big part of the community as it houses the post office, in this manner.
"It's a place of joy and worship. Surely there's a better place of meeting people." A spokesman for the Churches Conservation Trust, which manages the building, said: "We're very sorry to hear pictures of this nature have been taken at our church without our permission. "Our churches are open to all as heritage attractions and places of peace and calm, we expect visitors to treat the buildings with the respect they deserve, as well as being respectful of the local community and their use of these buildings."