A head teacher has reassured pupils he has spoken to Father Christmas - after a Buxton priest told the youngsters Santa did not exist.
Brendan Hickey, head teacher at St Thomas More Catholic School, said: “I want to reassure all year three pupils at St Anne’s, and their parents, that I have personally spoken to Father Christmas and told him about what has happened.
“He was sorry to hear about the confusion and has promised me that he will arrange for his elves to write to each of the children and reassure them that he will definitely be coming to visit them this Christmas.”
Angry parents contacted the Advertiser after Father Dennis Higgins told children from St Anne’s Primary School that Santa was a fake while giving mass at St Thomas More secondary school.
The primary pupils had visited the secondary school for the service, which was also attended by secondary pupils aged 11 and 12-years-old.
Father Andrew Cole, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Nottingham, which includes Buxton and the surrounding area, said: “Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, especially for our children.
“On the first Christmas Day, God gave us his most precious gift, Jesus, who shows us how to love God and one another.
“We celebrate Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem by putting up Christmas trees and decorations, singing carols, sending cards, giving each other presents, and spending time with those we love most.
“Father Christmas is always a welcome visitor in our homes, and we will all be looking forward to his arrival on Christmas Day, including me.”
Father Higgins’ comment split opinion on the Advertiser’s Facebook page and website.
Supporters have also set up a page on Facebook.