Chippenham vicar says sorry for Santa gaffe

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The Rev Simon Tatton-Brown has apologised after his Santa blunder The Rev Simon Tatton-Brown has apologised after his Santa blunder

Chippenham vicar the Rev Simon Tatton-Brown has said he is sorry he made children doubt Santa Claus.

Parents of children at Charter School were incensed because they said Canon Tatton-Brown, vicar of St Andrew’s Church, questioned Father Christmas’ existence in a school assembly last Wednesday.

The Church of England vicar, who is due to retire at the end of the month after 13 Christmases at the helm of St Andrew’s, said he can’t recall exactly what he said but he has admitted he made a mistake.

He had to abandon his prepared talk because of a technical glitch, and spoke without notes.

In his talk he told the children, who range in age from five to 11, about St Nicholas who, according to gruesome legend, brought back to life three children who were killed by an evil butcher and placed in a barrel to be cured and sold as ham.

He is also rumoured to have dropped a gift down a poor family’s chimney, which happened to land in a stocking hung up to dry by the fire.

When the full horror of some of the parents transpired, he offered a humble and unreserved apology for his blunder, which it is feared may have crushed the magic of stockings and Rudolph for the youngsters.

Canon Tatton-Brown, 65, said: “I didn’t intend to upset anyone or to dispel children’s beliefs in Santa Claus, but I accept I was wrong.”

Some mums have pulled their children from the school’s Christmas concert at St Andrew’s as a result.

He said: “I understand that they’re disappointed.

“I got it wrong. It wasn’t intentional.

“I can’t undo it.”

He said his biggest concern was the children’s Christmases being spoilt.

Those in reception class, aged four, were not part of the assembly.

The vicar wrote to the headteacher, Sarah Flack, on Friday to apologise. His letter reads: “I was very sorry to hear of the trouble following my assembly on Wednesday.

“I talked about St Nicholas, and the stories about him, which tell us why Santa Claus brings gifts at Christmas. “I am sorry if this was misunderstood. “I fully support parents who want their young children to enjoy the Christmas stories, including Father Christmas, and I had no intention of undermining their belief in the reality of Santa Claus.”

Headteacher Mrs Flack said she accepted his apology. She said children had made comments to their parents at home but the school was looking forward to moving on and would still be using St Andrew’s for their carol service and would welcome a vicar at next year’s assembly.

Comments (16)

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10:21am Thu 12 Dec 13

Nickthegreek says...

"He had to abandon his prepared talk because of a technical glitch, and spoke without notes". I'm guessing the good Rev didn't have a flashy powerpoint, forgot his script, if he had one at all, so made his speech up 'off the cuff' & got caught out? Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
"He had to abandon his prepared talk because of a technical glitch, and spoke without notes". I'm guessing the good Rev didn't have a flashy powerpoint, forgot his script, if he had one at all, so made his speech up 'off the cuff' & got caught out? Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Nickthegreek

10:37am Thu 12 Dec 13

kimcrawley says...

What an over reaction from the mothers. Exactly when do they think their children become aware that it's all about money and not giving-when they are teenagers?
Simon is excellent at his calling and provides a wonderful atmosphere for children at his services.
To the mothers get a life and find something important to get outraged about, how about elderly people unable to heat their homes?
What an over reaction from the mothers. Exactly when do they think their children become aware that it's all about money and not giving-when they are teenagers? Simon is excellent at his calling and provides a wonderful atmosphere for children at his services. To the mothers get a life and find something important to get outraged about, how about elderly people unable to heat their homes? kimcrawley

3:01pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Wednesdayschild says...

Ironically enough, Nickthegreek, he DID have a powerpoint and script, but couldn't use them because the projector was out of use. So, another person who knows nothing putting their two pennies worth in.
Ironically enough, Nickthegreek, he DID have a powerpoint and script, but couldn't use them because the projector was out of use. So, another person who knows nothing putting their two pennies worth in. Wednesdayschild

8:52pm Thu 12 Dec 13

dragon22 says...

13 christmases at St Andrews and he couldn't come up with a speech appropriate for such a young audience?? The mothers are right to be angry!
13 christmases at St Andrews and he couldn't come up with a speech appropriate for such a young audience?? The mothers are right to be angry! dragon22

8:13am Fri 13 Dec 13

Synergyman says...

The Rev Tatton Brown has served his church and community well in recent years and we should be wishing him well in his retirement. When it comes to making mistakes, perhaps we should listen to the one who's birthday we're about to celebrate. "Whoever among you is guiltless may be the first to throw a stone."
The Rev Tatton Brown has served his church and community well in recent years and we should be wishing him well in his retirement. When it comes to making mistakes, perhaps we should listen to the one who's birthday we're about to celebrate. "Whoever among you is guiltless may be the first to throw a stone." Synergyman

10:10am Fri 13 Dec 13

sir roy.orbit of chippenham says...

There is no santa and there is no god either. Strange that an adult belives some fairy tales but not others.
Nobody has ever died or killed in santa's name.
There is no santa and there is no god either. Strange that an adult belives some fairy tales but not others. Nobody has ever died or killed in santa's name. sir roy.orbit of chippenham

10:12am Fri 13 Dec 13

Nickthegreek says...

Wednesdayschild wrote:
Ironically enough, Nickthegreek, he DID have a powerpoint and script, but couldn't use them because the projector was out of use. So, another person who knows nothing putting their two pennies worth in.
So take it up with the reporter then ".........and spoke without notes". You can't both be right.
[quote][p][bold]Wednesdayschild[/bold] wrote: Ironically enough, Nickthegreek, he DID have a powerpoint and script, but couldn't use them because the projector was out of use. So, another person who knows nothing putting their two pennies worth in.[/p][/quote]So take it up with the reporter then ".........and spoke without notes". You can't both be right. Nickthegreek

11:46am Fri 13 Dec 13

Yanziboom says...

sir roy.orbit of chippenham wrote:
There is no santa and there is no god either. Strange that an adult belives some fairy tales but not others. Nobody has ever died or killed in santa's name.
"There is no santa and there is no god either" - Prove it! Come on clever clogs, if you're so sure... prove it!
[quote][p][bold]sir roy.orbit of chippenham[/bold] wrote: There is no santa and there is no god either. Strange that an adult belives some fairy tales but not others. Nobody has ever died or killed in santa's name.[/p][/quote]"There is no santa and there is no god either" - Prove it! Come on clever clogs, if you're so sure... prove it! Yanziboom

3:23pm Fri 13 Dec 13

dragon22 says...

Yanziboom wrote:
sir roy.orbit of chippenham wrote:
There is no santa and there is no god either. Strange that an adult belives some fairy tales but not others. Nobody has ever died or killed in santa's name.
"There is no santa and there is no god either" - Prove it! Come on clever clogs, if you're so sure... prove it!
I've sat on Santas knee but i've never sat on Gods
[quote][p][bold]Yanziboom[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sir roy.orbit of chippenham[/bold] wrote: There is no santa and there is no god either. Strange that an adult belives some fairy tales but not others. Nobody has ever died or killed in santa's name.[/p][/quote]"There is no santa and there is no god either" - Prove it! Come on clever clogs, if you're so sure... prove it![/p][/quote]I've sat on Santas knee but i've never sat on Gods dragon22

4:21pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Wednesdayschild says...

Nickthegreek wrote:
Wednesdayschild wrote:
Ironically enough, Nickthegreek, he DID have a powerpoint and script, but couldn't use them because the projector was out of use. So, another person who knows nothing putting their two pennies worth in.
So take it up with the reporter then ".........and spoke without notes". You can't both be right.
Of course he spoke without notes, because the notes he had would have run along side the powerpoint. Ergo, he had to improvise as they would have made no sense, particularily where he would have referred to an image or video clip ; which leads to a speech without notes. Face it, you have no clue what you are on about. Are you actually a reporter???
[quote][p][bold]Nickthegreek[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Wednesdayschild[/bold] wrote: Ironically enough, Nickthegreek, he DID have a powerpoint and script, but couldn't use them because the projector was out of use. So, another person who knows nothing putting their two pennies worth in.[/p][/quote]So take it up with the reporter then ".........and spoke without notes". You can't both be right.[/p][/quote]Of course he spoke without notes, because the notes he had would have run along side the powerpoint. Ergo, he had to improvise as they would have made no sense, particularily where he would have referred to an image or video clip ; which leads to a speech without notes. Face it, you have no clue what you are on about. Are you actually a reporter??? Wednesdayschild

4:43pm Fri 13 Dec 13

wiltshireborne says...

Yanziboom wrote:
sir roy.orbit of chippenham wrote:
There is no santa and there is no god either. Strange that an adult belives some fairy tales but not others. Nobody has ever died or killed in santa's name.
"There is no santa and there is no god either" - Prove it! Come on clever clogs, if you're so sure... prove it!
Prove it!? Prove the non-existance of a mythical being? Seriously? Shall we add unicorns and the easter bunny the the list?
[quote][p][bold]Yanziboom[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sir roy.orbit of chippenham[/bold] wrote: There is no santa and there is no god either. Strange that an adult belives some fairy tales but not others. Nobody has ever died or killed in santa's name.[/p][/quote]"There is no santa and there is no god either" - Prove it! Come on clever clogs, if you're so sure... prove it![/p][/quote]Prove it!? Prove the non-existance of a mythical being? Seriously? Shall we add unicorns and the easter bunny the the list? wiltshireborne

7:08pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Sold yoked says...

I am sympathetic and do hope Simon is not too upset about is now.
The "outraged mothers" need to get a life and worry about somehting that really matters. My two daughters (6&8) attend Charter School, myself and my partner are neither angry nor incensed.

It was a mistake, the children have long since moved on - stop this tabloid cheap journalistic rhetoric and "fame chasing mothers" let the man retire in peace and the school move on....
I am sympathetic and do hope Simon is not too upset about is now. The "outraged mothers" need to get a life and worry about somehting that really matters. My two daughters (6&8) attend Charter School, myself and my partner are neither angry nor incensed. It was a mistake, the children have long since moved on - stop this tabloid cheap journalistic rhetoric and "fame chasing mothers" let the man retire in peace and the school move on.... Sold yoked

8:51pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Nickthegreek says...

It was a mistake and the good Rev has rightly apologised. Hopefully many will have learned about 'pitching to the right audience', scripted or otherwise.
It was a mistake and the good Rev has rightly apologised. Hopefully many will have learned about 'pitching to the right audience', scripted or otherwise. Nickthegreek

11:17pm Fri 13 Dec 13

kimcrawley says...

Nickthegreek wrote:
It was a mistake and the good Rev has rightly apologised. Hopefully many will have learned about 'pitching to the right audience', scripted or otherwise.
Pity you can not follow your own advice.
Nobody wants to see trivial nitpicking, why don't you join UKIP they need a second hand marketing guru.
[quote][p][bold]Nickthegreek[/bold] wrote: It was a mistake and the good Rev has rightly apologised. Hopefully many will have learned about 'pitching to the right audience', scripted or otherwise.[/p][/quote]Pity you can not follow your own advice. Nobody wants to see trivial nitpicking, why don't you join UKIP they need a second hand marketing guru. kimcrawley

3:28am Sat 14 Dec 13

chrisbizarre says...

Yanziboom wrote:
sir roy.orbit of chippenham wrote: There is no santa and there is no god either. Strange that an adult belives some fairy tales but not others. Nobody has ever died or killed in santa's name.
"There is no santa and there is no god either" - Prove it! Come on clever clogs, if you're so sure... prove it!
Why don't you prove that God exists? That's right, it can't be done. Like all religions Christianity is a method of controlling the population by instilling fear of a non-existant entity. The church brainwashes children to believe their mantra with promises of going to heaven if you are good and threats of enternal damnation if you are bad. That is the same as what parents do to their children by telling them Santa won't bring them presents if they misbehave.
The Rev. apologises for telling the truth while making a living out of peddling unsubstantiated stories. Irony, much.
[quote][p][bold]Yanziboom[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sir roy.orbit of chippenham[/bold] wrote: There is no santa and there is no god either. Strange that an adult belives some fairy tales but not others. Nobody has ever died or killed in santa's name.[/p][/quote]"There is no santa and there is no god either" - Prove it! Come on clever clogs, if you're so sure... prove it![/p][/quote]Why don't you prove that God exists? That's right, it can't be done. Like all religions Christianity is a method of controlling the population by instilling fear of a non-existant entity. The church brainwashes children to believe their mantra with promises of going to heaven if you are good and threats of enternal damnation if you are bad. That is the same as what parents do to their children by telling them Santa won't bring them presents if they misbehave. The Rev. apologises for telling the truth while making a living out of peddling unsubstantiated stories. Irony, much. chrisbizarre

11:24am Mon 16 Dec 13

Yanziboom says...

chrisbizarre wrote:
Yanziboom wrote:
sir roy.orbit of chippenham wrote: There is no santa and there is no god either. Strange that an adult belives some fairy tales but not others. Nobody has ever died or killed in santa's name.
"There is no santa and there is no god either" - Prove it! Come on clever clogs, if you're so sure... prove it!
Why don't you prove that God exists? That's right, it can't be done. Like all religions Christianity is a method of controlling the population by instilling fear of a non-existant entity. The church brainwashes children to believe their mantra with promises of going to heaven if you are good and threats of enternal damnation if you are bad. That is the same as what parents do to their children by telling them Santa won't bring them presents if they misbehave. The Rev. apologises for telling the truth while making a living out of peddling unsubstantiated stories. Irony, much.
Hook, line and sinker! :-)
[quote][p][bold]chrisbizarre[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Yanziboom[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sir roy.orbit of chippenham[/bold] wrote: There is no santa and there is no god either. Strange that an adult belives some fairy tales but not others. Nobody has ever died or killed in santa's name.[/p][/quote]"There is no santa and there is no god either" - Prove it! Come on clever clogs, if you're so sure... prove it![/p][/quote]Why don't you prove that God exists? That's right, it can't be done. Like all religions Christianity is a method of controlling the population by instilling fear of a non-existant entity. The church brainwashes children to believe their mantra with promises of going to heaven if you are good and threats of enternal damnation if you are bad. That is the same as what parents do to their children by telling them Santa won't bring them presents if they misbehave. The Rev. apologises for telling the truth while making a living out of peddling unsubstantiated stories. Irony, much.[/p][/quote]Hook, line and sinker! :-) Yanziboom

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