STRANGE posters that apparently promote the Church of Satan have caused concern in Worcester.

Posters advertising a ‘family friendly’ Church of Satan gathering have appeared in various locations around St John’s, much to the surprise and upset of some local people. The leaflets, carrying the symbol of the hugely controversial group, suggests that members will be meeting for a barbecue and games in St John’s Cemetery, McIntyre Road, at midnight ‘this Saturday’.

There is no specific date and no contact details on the poster leading some people to believe their appearance on walls and inside shops is simply a hoax. But some residents are worried.

Teresa Cox, aged 39, of Bransford Road, reported the posters to West Mercia Police. She said: “We are not religious people but we thought it was a bit strange.

“It's just the fact that it's a cemetery in St John’s and there are people I know buried there. Even if it's just a bunch of kids, I don't want some weird stuff going on in the cemetery. That leaflet mentions sodomy and nakedness. It's just not on, really.

“I don't go to church, but I said to my husband that I don’t want things like this happening in St John’s.”

A spokesman for Worcester City Police said: “We are aware of the posters and are looking into their origin and content. Until we have more information we are not able to comment further.”

Worcester City Council, which owns the cemetery, has no idea where the posters came from, but has started removing them from St John’s.

The Church of Satan is an American-based organisation founded by Anton Szandor LaVey in 1968 and with beliefs based upon LaVey’s book The Satanic Bible. Membership is confidential, but in 2006 the church held its first public satanic mass ritual in 40 years in Los Angeles.