The Church of England has said it is “disappointed and bewildered” by the refusal of leading UK cinemas to show an advert featuring the Lord’s Prayer. The Church called the decision “plain silly” and warned it could have a “chilling” effect on free speech. It had hoped the 60-second film would be screened UK-wide before Christmas ahead of the new Star Wars film. The agency that handles adverts for the cinemas said it could offend those of “differing faiths and no faith”. The advert features the Christian prayer being recited or sung by a variety of people. They include refugees, a grieving son, weightlifters at a gym, a sheep farmer, a gospel choir and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby. The advert was passed uncut by the British Board of Film Classification and given a “U” certificate, as well as receiving clearance from the Cinema Advertising Authority. However, the Digital Cinema Media (DCM) agency, which handles British film advertising for the major cinema chains, Odeon, Cineworld and Vue, refused to show the advert because it believed it would risk upsetting or offending audiences.