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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 February, 2004, 12:50 GMT
Hate mailers target TV priest
The Rev Christine Musser is vicar of Boscastle
A north Cornwall priest has received hate mail after starring in a BBC Two documentary.

Reverend Christine Musser, 48, took over the seaside parish of Boscastle last year.

Since the broadcasts of A Seaside Parish on Friday nights, the divorced and remarried vicar said she had received many letters of support.

But she had also had some letters demanding she resigns, and claims that she is a disgrace to the sanctity of marriage.

Mrs Musser was backed by Truro Bishop, the Right Reverend Bill Ind, in appearing in the series.

But she raised eyebrows in the parish after supporting a calendar of semi-naked locals to raise money for church funds.

Deeply-felt beliefs

Mrs Musser said she would be staying put, despite the hostility.

Nudity and the Church are not traditionally linked
The Rev Christine Musser
She said: "I thought I was going to come in for some flak from it because, if you put yourself in a public role, I guess you are going to find others that disagree with you.

"One chap, bless him, is hoping I will resign very quickly.

"He doesn't like the way I work, I guess, and doesn't like the fact that I'm a remarried divorcee.

"There are people here as everywhere that find the idea of women priests a difficult one.

"It comes from deeply-felt beliefs and traditions and all I can do is befriend them and keep the dialogue going and hopefully I can serve them in whatever way they feel they can accept from me."

She added: "The overwhelming response from the majority of people far outweighs the negative responses."

She said that criticism over the calendar was "inevitable".

"Nudity and the Church are not traditionally linked, but to my mind, it was a group of guys who don't come to church, but are very much part of the community who wanted to show their support for their community church.

"How could I not support them?"

Rev Christine Musser speaks to BBC Radio Cornwall
"I thought I was going to come in for some flak"

Seaside priest is TV star
01 Feb 04  |  Cornwall


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