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Church fumes at rosary fashion

London, Oct. 28 (Reuters): Rosary beads are the hot new fashion accessory, but the Roman Catholic Church in Britain is not amused.

Pop star Britney Spears and English soccer captain David Beckham have both been photographed wearing them, prompting a surge in sales at jewellery shops and religious suppliers.

Fearing the beads are being trivialised, English and Welsh Bishops have issued a special leaflet that gives guidance on their use as prayer aids.

'David Beckham and his (pop star wife) Victoria may pray with the rosary every night ' I have no idea,' said Father Allen Morris, who is secretary of the church's department for Christian life and worship.

'They look very nice but it is a great pity if they are only being used as a decoration and not for devotional purposes.'

Morris said celebrities were 'not doing wicked things and leading us astray. But I am sorry that people are wearing them as fashion accessories and are not mindful of their religious significance.'

Beckham appeared on the front cover of Vanity Fair magazine wearing a 'rosary necklace' and Britney Spears was photographed on a Dublin street wearing rosary beads.

The beads are traditionally used by Roman Catholics to count off prayers.

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