Blackburn Cathedral has slammed the lack of religious-themed stamps from Royal Mail this Christmas.

The Dean of Blackburn, the Very Rev Christopher Armstrong, backed Christian and Muslim colleagues, urging dissatisfied customers to take their protests to Parliament.

The Royal Mail has produced six non-religious stamps showing pantomime figures.

But the firm has only made two religious Christmas stamps, which are re-issues of last year’s products. And these were only issued after complaints.

The Dean was supporting a Christian-Muslim protest against ‘secular’ Christmas stamps made jointly by Canon Chris Chivers, Blackburn Cathedral’s Canon Chancellor and Anjum Anwar, dialogue development officer. Ms Anwar is the only Muslim in the world to be on a Cathedral staff.

They had condemned as “utterly demeaning” the “free market choice” of being offered Christian or secular stamps by the Royal Mail for Christmas.

In a letter they said: “If we are to have Christmas stamps at all, let them be Christian.

“But if for some mindlessly secularist reason we must have a choice, then let there be stamps of both sorts, in equal number.”

The Cathedral colleagues claimed the Royal Mail only intended to issue secular ‘pantomime dame’ sets of stamps before protests were made.

The Very Rev Armstrong said: “Please write to your local MP and ask them to establish who made the set of decisions that led to this year’s secular-religious issue of Christmas stamps.”

Royal Mail said the Madonna and child stamps had been available since November 4 along with a ‘Pantomime’ series and millions of both sets had been printed.