18/05/2016 14:03 BST

Britain First, Tommy Robinson And Pegida-Supporting Minister Now Under Investigation By Church In Wales

'You might discover these groups are working hard for your freedom.'

The Church In Wales is investigating after one of its ministers tweeted a series of Islamophobic messages and called on his followers to not be so dismissive of far-right groups "working hard for your freedom".

In a series of messages this month, Father David Lloyd of The Parish of Newcastle in the diocese of Llandoff, called out "idiots who dismiss" Pegida and Britain First posts out of hand", saying they needed to "grow up, overcome their prejudices". 

Lloyd urged his followers to watch the groups' videos before judging those involved, saying: "You might discover that these groups are working hard for your freedom and your children's future while you stand idly by."

Britain First
Minister David Lloyd expressed support for Britain First in a series of tweets slammed as Islamophobic 

He also shared an anti-immigration post from Britain First and another from a group called 'Islam Exposed', and called on his followers to "applaud and support" English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson.

A spokesperson from The Church in Wales confirmed the tweets were Lloyd's and that an investigation was now underway. 

“The Revd David Lloyd’s views expressed in his tweets are his personal ones and not those of the Church in Wales.

"We apologise for any offence they have caused and are investigating the matter further.”

Some of Lloyd's tweets and retweets, which anti-Islamophia charity Tell Mama labelled as "disgusting" can be seen below. 

Fr David Lloyd
Fr David Lloyd
Fr David lloyd
Fr David lloyd
Fr David Lloyd

Lloyd's messages were condemned on social media.

Lloyd has not responded to a request from the Huffington Post UK for comment, however, he posted on Twitter that he will "no longer be posting as an individual" after his wife, and his superiors received "abusive phone calls" about his posts. 

Lloyd ended the post with this sign off: "From an alleged racist and Islamophobe."

After his messages began to circulate on Twitter Lloyd made his tweets private, it was then later deleted.

Lloyd's messages were circulated on Twitter by IRBF, an account set-up to "back against social media hate pages and groups".

Ben Pruchnie via Getty Images
Lloyd told his supporters they should 'applaud' and 'support' Pegida coordinator Tommy Robinson

IRBF retweeted some of Iloyd's posts at the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and at Tell Mama. 

IRBF wrote on twitter in a post directed at Welby, "Are you in the habit of employing islamaphobes as vicars?"

The Archbishop of Canterbury, who has no jurisdiction over Lloyd, has been approached for comment on the posts, but is yet to respond. 

In January every major Christian denomination in the UK denounced Britain First.

The Huffington Post UK approached religious leaders for their views on the political party after it staged a 'Christian Patrol' in London which critics said was "intimidating" and "inflamed tensions" with the Muslim community.