A rock band are at the centre of an unholy row after filming a music video showing a woman being strangled to death inside a church.
Church leaders are furious that The Naked Feedback used their place of worship to shoot the video which includes violent scenes of a cult leader attacking his followers.
The group had been given access to film in Blantyre Old Parish Church in Lanarkshire by a church member who had keys but the minister, Reverend Sarah Ross, was unaware of the arrangement or the video’s content until it appeared online.
The promo for the band’s new song Something Wicked This Way Comes shows a woman being murdered near the church’s altar after being dragged across the floor by her hair.
The Blantyre band’s singer Dean Anderson plays the cult leader who is also seen forcing the pages of a book into a man’s mouth.
The church is now holding a rededication service to “reclaim the church’s true use in God’s mission” after they were left outraged by the dark themes in the video.
The Rev Ross said: “This has been an extremely distressing incident for all those connected to Blantyre Old Parish Church.
“The band made the arrangement to film through a personal contact who had keys to the church.
“He was aware that it was a promotional video but wholly unaware of the content or style of it. Members of the band did not seek the permission of the minister directly or the Kirk Session to use the church building.
“We have since met with the band to express our concern at what has happened and to convey the sense of hurt and upset caused. The filming that took place was not appropriate in a building used for worship.
“A rededication service for the church will now take place on June 17 to reclaim the church’s true use in God’s mission.
“Our procedures in relation to who has keys to the church and can authorise access have also been reviewed and tightened up.”
An invitation for the band to perform at the church’s summer fete this Saturday has now been withdrawn.
In a statement, the band said: “In terms of locations for the shoot, we contacted dozen of buildings for this filming. The church confirmed with us that they would be happy to let us use the church and we were never informed of any specific requirements to check before filming
“The miscommunication of booking is solely an internal matter for the church and one which we are not involved with.”
The four-piece band are made up of friends Dean Anderson, Derek Whiteford, Calum Anderson and Jack Oliver.
The title of the song is also the name of a 1962 dark fantasy novel by author Ray Bradbury about evil descending on a town.
The band defended the violent themes in the video, which is shot in black and white, claiming it was about the dangers of unchecked power.
In their statement, they added: “The story of the video follows the dramatic example of a cult where Dean (cult leader) is yelling his own words over the crowd and they are all listening intently.
“The main character of the story does not conform and refuses to follow the mob mentality of the cult. This ultimately leads to her being identified as a non-conformer which then leads to her violent death.
“This shocking act ultimately stuns the rest of the cult to the point that they are finally questioning what is going on and eventually challenge the cult leader for what he has done.”