Florida Church Burns X-Rated Film Reels

Members of Christ Church Anglican in Jacksonville, Fla., unravel X-rated films Sunday. i i

hide captionMembers of Christ Church Anglican in Jacksonville, Fla., unravel X-rated films and gather them in a pornography-burning ceremony Sunday. The aim, says pastor Mark Eldredge, was to move land the church recently bought from "unholy to holy."

Courtesy Christ Church Anglican
Members of Christ Church Anglican in Jacksonville, Fla., unravel X-rated films Sunday.

Members of Christ Church Anglican in Jacksonville, Fla., unravel X-rated films and gather them in a pornography-burning ceremony Sunday. The aim, says pastor Mark Eldredge, was to move land the church recently bought from "unholy to holy."

Courtesy Christ Church Anglican

Members of Christ Church Anglican in Jacksonville, Fla., gathered Sunday for an unusual religious ceremony that involved torching X-rated old movies in a fire pit.

The 300-member congregation recently bought the former Playtime Drive-In movie theater to develop as their meeting place, and it held a bit of a surprise for staff members when they closed on the sale: cases and cases of pornography from the 1970s and 1980s.

"Obviously, we knew the right thing to do would be to destroy it, and not let it ever be out on the market, so to speak," senior pastor Mark Eldredge tells NPR's Melissa Block.

So the congregation gathered up the movie reels, unraveled the movie tape and hung it over the sides of the pit, poured lighter fluid on it and set it on fire. The Jacksonville fire department oversaw the ceremony, which Eldredge jokingly referred to as the "holy water hose-down."

The aim was to "consecrate that land as new holy ground for our church," Eldredge says.

The ceremony was a symbolic measure for the congregation, "a sign of moving from that past and taking the land from unholy to holy," Eldredge says.

"What are we going to do with pornography?" he says. "You certainly don't want anyone to ever look at that."

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