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World News

Diocese of Sheffield asks children's charity to review church’s gay exorcism claim

by Premier Journalist

The Diocese of Sheffield has asked children’s charity Barnado’s to review claims conversion therapy was performed at a church in Sheffield eight years ago.

Earlier this year, Matthew Drapper said he underwent a form of “gay exorcism” while attending St Thomas' Philadelphia church in 2014.

"They told me to speak to the gay part of myself as if speaking to a wild dog coming up to me - and for me to say to 'leave my body'," he told the BBC.

"The people I was with told me they could see demons leave me and go out of the window."

The 33-year-old said the event left him suffering with long-term trauma.  St Thomas church denies the allegations.

Now, a Barnado’s spokesperson has told the BBC the review would look into allegations that an individual was "discriminated against at St Thomas' Philadelphia Church due to their sexuality".

In February the Diocese of Sheffield said they believed “along with the wider Church of England, that conversion therapy is unethical, potentially harmful and has no place in the modern world".

The government is expected to bring forward plans to ban conversion therapy for gay and bisexual people this Spring.

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