A HOTEL boss has swapped Bibles in his bedrooms for copies of the raunchy novel Fifty Shades of Grey – and the local vicar is not happy.
The Rev Michael Woodcock spoke of his dismay after hearing about the book of choice at the Damson Dene Hotel, Crosthwaite.
He said it was ‘a great shame’ to replace the Gideon Bibles at the rural retreat with an explicit, erotic novel.
Hotel manager Wayne Bartholomew said the move to install the steamy bestseller was in response to popular demand.
Mr Bartholomew, who starred in Channel 4’s first series of The Hotel, said the book was all people were talking about but many were too shy to buy it.
“I thought it would be a special treat for our guests to find it in their bedside cabinet and that includes the men too,” he said. “They are as desperate to get their hands on a copy as the women.”
He added: “The Gideon Bible is full of references to sex and violence, although it’s written using more formal language, so James’s book is easier to read.
The hotel said the Gideon Bible would remain available at the reception desk.
Crosthwaite parish priest Mr Woodcock oversees services at the nearby St Mary’s Parish Church and spoke of his disappointment at the hotel’s move.
“It is a great shame that Bibles have been removed from rooms and very inappropriate to have been replaced by an explicit erotic novel,” he said.
“The Bible remains a source of comfort and inspiration that many people do find helpful.”
A Diocesan spokesperson said: “Fifty Shades of Grey is all the rage but is likely to be a passing fad. The Bible is a classic, shaped and reshaped by Jewish and Christian communities over many centuries; it is also an enduring source of comfort to travellers around the world and, we believe, the words of life.
“It is unclear why anyone would think it appropriate to replace the latter with the former.”