Sex shop 'could ruin community life'

A VICAR has warned that the introduction of an adult sex shop in his village could lead to the breakdown of marriages and community life.John Eldridge, vicar of All Saints' Church, Wickham Market, near Woodbridge, is highlighting the moral issues at stake while planners are poised to consider the application to set up the Adam and Eve Emporium on an industrial estate.

A VICAR has warned that the introduction of an adult sex shop in his village could lead to the breakdown of marriages and community life.

John Eldridge, vicar of All Saints' Church, Wickham Market, near Woodbridge, is highlighting the moral issues at stake while planners are poised to consider the application to set up the Adam and Eve Emporium on an industrial estate.

Rev Eldridge said there was nothing wrong with sex, but adult shops, pornographic films and literature made sex trivial.

Writing in his parish magazine, he said: "They totally eliminate relationship and keep sexuality to the narrow confines of the sexual act. They make sex trivial. To have a romantic meal, to discuss a TV programme, to be a family, to view a sunset together – this is sexuality at its best, where females and males are in intimate relationship.


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"To be sure, sleeping together is part of the total picture, but human sexuality is a far larger reality than merely just this.

"The very concept of a sex shop where this type of isolated sex is for sale is therefore objectionable. Women particularly are reduced to objects for sale. This is totally demeaning to women, to their relationship with men, and to sex itself.

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"Much of the sex business is a fantasy world. Staged photo sessions with the miracle of dye-transfer printing can cover a multitude of flaws. What woman can compare favourably day in day out with the perfect body, sparkling smile, and sensuous legs seen on the screen? What man can match the hunky sun-tanned body portrayed in the modern media? The answer is that no one can, not even the people who stage the phoney show. It is a deceptive, beguiling artificial dream world.

"Sadly, men especially are drawn into this fantasy world, and often end up comparing their partner with the seductive phoney women, and become dissatisfied. Perhaps this is one of the major causes to nearly 50% of marriage failing in the UK today?

"An adult sex shop in my view will cause damage to our community – damage to our relationships, damage to our marriages and damage to our sexuality. I would therefore invite you to join with me in saying: 'Yes' to sex but 'No' to shop."

Mr Eldridge was among those in the village who gathered more than 1,000 names for a petition opposing the opening of the shop in Border Cot Lane. He has written to the district council to complain but he said yesterday he had not addressed his congregation from the pulpit about the moral issues.

"A lot of people have said how much they appreciated the article. Something needed to be said from a moral point of view. With a planning application they do not take into account the moral side of things," he said.

The shop organisers were unavailable for comment.

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