Vicar tells children: 'Father Christmas is dead'

 Children at a Church of England school carol service yesterday were reduced to tears, when the vicar told them Father Christmas was dead. Rev Lee Rayfield also said Santa's reindeer would explode if they travelled at the high speeds needed to deliver presents round the world on one night. Children and their parents left St Piran's School carol service at St Mary's Church in Maidenhead, Berkshire "devastated", one parent told ICN. Mrs Susan Smee, who went with her five and nine year-old boys, said: "it is not his job to tell them things like this. This has left us parents with a lot of explaining to do just before Christmas. Mrs Sarah McCreery, who has four children said: "It doesn't take a genius to realise that the congregation at a school carol service will be full of young children. It was totally inappropriate." Rev Rayfield explained that he meant to talk about the real meaning of Christmas and debunk some myths. He said: "I did not realise how young some of them were and I am sitting here now wondering how I managed not to realise." He said he is now writing a letter to parents apologising for the blunder.

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