Reverend Richard Coles abused by Christian trolls warning his late civil partner is in hell

19 December 2019, 13:03 | Updated: 19 December 2019, 14:11

Reverend Richard Coles with his partner David
Reverend Richard Coles with his partner David. Picture: Twitter

By Asher McShane

The Reverend Richard Coles has been hit with abuse from Christian trolls who have leapt on the death of his civil partner saying he is "in hell."

Rev Coles announced the passing of his partner David this week, who died this week after battling a long illness.

Yesterday it emerged that scammers had set up a fake GoFundMe page for his late partner’s funeral, in his mother’s name - to try and get people to part with their money.

He tweeted today: “99.99999% loveliness from people and then a small but lively correspondence from Christians who wish me to know that D is in hell and I will follow. It’s like the Khmer Rouge suddenly popping up in a stream of condolence.

He also said he had been sent "horrible letters" hailing the death of his partner.

"A letter, courageously unsigned, begins: “Dear Mr Coles, I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am to hear of the death of your partner," he wrote.

"The horrible letters: they don’t touch me. I am right now an expert in pain, the real kind, and these are paper darts among the incoming, and just leave me mildly curious about the state of mind of the writer."

The broadcaster Rev Coles announced the death of his partner on Tuesday.

The former Strictly Come Dancing contestant said Rev David Coles, his civil partner who was also a priest, had been unwell for some time.

The 57-year-old ex-Communards star wrote on Twitter: "I'm very sorry to say that Rev David Coles has died.

"He had been ill for a while."

"Thanks to the brilliant teams who looked after him at Kettering General," the co-presenter of BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live said.

"'The Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended'."

Dianne Buswell, his professional partner on Strictly Come Dancing, wrote: "I am so sorry to hear this. Sending all my love to you Rev! My prayers and thoughts are with you x"

Fellow Strictly contestant Susan Calman wrote: "Oh darling, I'm so sorry. Sending all my love xx"

Author Philip Pullman wrote: "Richard, I'm so sorry to hear that. You have all my sympathy."

According to Rev Coles' official website, the couple lived together in their vicarage, "which is gradually being destroyed by ... dachshunds Daisy, Pongo, Audrey and Horatio".

They met in 2007 after a sermon and Rev Coles has spoken openly about their celibacy.

He previously told Christian Today. "Of course it has its challenges and sacrifices ... We live in good standing with the teaching of the Church, but I wouldn't wish that to imply that I saw that as a good and noble thing, because I don't, but it is currently where we are."

Happening Now