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Last Updated: Friday, 25 November 2005, 14:21 GMT
Church gives away Narnia tickets
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The BBC has also adapted The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
A Kent church has spent 10,000 on tickets for families to see The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, which it says is clearly based on Christianity.

In March, St Luke's, Maidstone gave away thousands of tickets for Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.

It boosted Easter Sunday attendances by about 10%, but the church denied that was the reason for the latest giveaway.

"We have never had a problem with attendance at St Luke's," said director of worship Russ Hughes.

The church is offering the pairs of tickets to 1,000 single-parent families.

It is not some exercise in religious indoctrination, it is just an exercise in helping them to make sense of the story
Russ Hughes

Mr Hughes said it wanted as many youngsters as possible to see the film, based on the book by CS Lewis.

"CS Lewis is a great Christian hero, who wrote lots of books on theology but also these fantastic, classic books," said Mr Hughes.

"The Chronicles of Narnia speak of some really great values - the value of commitment, the value of sacrifice and resurrection - that things can come back from the dead."

The church spent 15,000 on block bookings at Maidstone's Odeon cinema for the controversial Gibson movie.

Mr Hughes said tickets for The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe were a gift to single parent families, who often struggled for money at Christmas.

Church members would be giving out information on Christianity as people left the cinema.

"It is not some exercise in religious indoctrination, it is just an exercise in helping them to make sense of the story," said Mr Hughes.

He said a donation had enabled the tickets to be purchased.




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