The advert, produced by JustPray.uk, shows the Lord's Prayer being recited by a members of the public ranging from bodybuilders to children, and also features the Most Rev Justin Welby.
A CoE spokesman said it was initially believed that their minute-long advert had been approved and would be played before showings of Star Wars: The Force Awakens from December 18.
They were later informed that, due to a DCM policy not to run adverts which could potentially cause offence, the video would not be shown.
When asked for a copy of that policy, CoE was told there is no formal policy document but that it had been agreed with the DCM's members.
There is now a formal policy on the DCM's website, which states: "To be approved, an advertisement must ... not in the reasonable opinion of DCM constitute political or religious advertising."
Please note this is not a PSA or some other free donated-time thing. This is a bought-and-paid-for advertisement. A one minute spot of people reciting the Lord's Prayer. Can't show it. Too offensive. Running with scissors.
Instant update! Superblogger and fabulous short person Kathy Shaidle sent this in a minute ago: Famous Atheist (and all-round dick, IMHO) Richard Dawkins comes out in support of the Church of England.
“My immediate response was to tweet that it was a violation of freedom of speech,” Dawkins told the Guardian. “But I deleted it when respondents convinced me that it was a matter of commercial judgment on the part of the cinemas, not so much a free speech issue.”
“I still strongly object to suppressing the ads on the grounds that they might ‘offend’ people,” he said. “If anybody is ‘offended’ by something so trivial as a prayer, they deserve to be offended.”Yeah, the "commercial judgement" was that they didn't want their theaters burnt down, and between the lines Dawkins knows it.
Mr. Dawkins, dick though he may be, realizes that an Islamic England is going to be one where he gets hanged, or possibly stoned to death, drawn, quartered, burnt at the stake or suffers some other medieval atrocity simply for being an atheist. He, unlike the CoE, realizes eat-me-last is not a winning strategy.
Even a blind pig finds the odd acorn.