Page last updated at 15:21 GMT, Thursday, 2 October 2008 16:21 UK

Priest gets postcard death threat

Reverend Yvonne Hobson
Police are investigating this latest incident against Yvonne Hobson

A woman priest has found a death threat written on a postcard which was hidden in her bible in church.

Police are investigating the incident, the latest in an apparent hate campaign against the Reverend Yvonne Hobson in the Cornish parish of Paul.

Last year the 54-year-old had letters, expressing anger that she was a clergywoman, sent to her home and a lit candle thrown into her car.

She has said she does not want to lead services again until someone is caught.

Ms Hobson found the postcard at the 15th Century church, near Newlyn, on 14 September.

It is appalling that someone who would claim to be a Christian could think they have a moral right to do this
Martin Andrewartha, parishioner

Jeremy Dowling, spokesman for the Diocese of Truro, said: "It fell out of the bible, which was regularly used by her and was known always to be on her stall in church."

Devon and Cornwall police have not disclosed the contents of the note, which has been sent for forensic examination for DNA and fingerprints.

It is understood to warn Ms Hobson that she would die unless she left the church.

The Bishop of St Germans, The Rt Rev Roy Screech, said: "The diocese is offering its full support to the parish of Paul, following the discovery of a further threatening note aimed at one of the clergy.

"The police are continuing their investigation, and I hope local people will pray for all concerned."

'Warped' faith

Parishioner Martin Andrewartha, said: "It is appalling that somebody who would claim to be a Christian could take such a warped and perverted view of their faith and think they have a moral right to do this."

Ms Hobson started work as a curate at Paul parish church in 2006.

The intimidation against her began when she began leading services after the retirement of the previous parish priest, Gordon Hansford.

Last year she was sent a series of hate letters and a burning candle was forced through the open window of her car.

Another candle was left burning in the porch of her house, causing logs stored there to ignite.

Ms Hobson decided to take break from her duties and the Rev Tim Heaney was appointed to the church in June.

He said: "I totally condemn the actions of the person responsible but we are not going to let it stop us carrying on as normal."




SEE ALSO
Arson forces priest to step down
07 Dec 07 |  Cornwall
Woman priest receives hate mail
30 Nov 07 |  Cornwall
Hate mailers target TV priest
18 Feb 04 |  Cornwall
Row grows over women priests
24 Apr 03 |  Cornwall

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