A VICAR is calling on his flock to protest the planned broadcast of a West End musical because it is blasphemous and attacks "decent standards" of society.

The Rev David Parsons, of Highfield Road Baptist Church, Dartford, is shocked the BBC plans to broadcast Jerry Springer The Opera this month, and hopes enough people will complain to force a re-think.

The church's website details how the show is filled with expletives and "depicts the characters of Jesus, Mary and God as self-centred sexual deviants who give and receive extreme verbal abuse and a horrific series of blasphemies all in the name of comedy".

Rev Parsons said: "It's more than an attack on Christianity. It's an attack on decent standards of society generally.

"It's an attack on respect and decency and it's a shame the BBC's fallen to this level of so-called entertainment."

The musical, which currently stars David Soul, is based on the Jerry Springer television talk show and has won best musical awards including the Olivier since starting in April 2003.

But the Dartford church is concerned the show will be broadcast un-cut, especially with the BBC allegedly accepting it "pushes back the boundaries of taste and decency".

Rev Parsons says his concerns on the church website, dartfordbaptistchurch.org.uk, are available for people to make up their own minds.

A BBC spokesman said the highly-acclaimed show is "not to be taken literally" and televising it gives people unable to view it in a London theatre the opportunity to do so. Guidance on its content will precede the broadcast.

He said: "As a public service broadcaster, it's our role to broadcast a range of programmes which appeal to all audiences present in the UK today."