Hotel boss Wayne Bartholomew in unrepentant about his new choice of bedside reading for his guests despite an outcry from church authorities.
Mr Bartholomew, who runs the 40 bedroom Damson Dene Hotel, Crosthwaite, has placed the erotic best seller on the bedside cabinets of both male and female guests.
A copy of the Gideon Bible will be retained for those who want it – but they will have to request it at the reception desk.
His argument is that the Bible is also full of references to sex and violence and that the best seller is a much easier read.
But local vicar The Rev Michael Woodcock has accused the hotel boss of cashing in on the EL James novel’s runaway success. He said: “It is just a gimmick really.
“It is a shame that the Bible has been taken out.
“But I am sure it will be put back in the future. The more attention that is drawn to this the more bad publicity it gets.”
He hit back at suggestions that the Bible contained as many sexual references as Fifty Shades of Grey.
“You can choose bits out of the Bible and take it out of context I suppose,” he continued.
Crosthwaite parish priest Mr Woodcock oversees services at the nearby St Mary’s Parish Church.
He said he had not read Fifty Shades of Grey – but neither had the owner of the hotel.
He continued: “It is a great shame that Bibles have been removed from rooms and very inappropriate to have been replaced by an explicit erotic novel.
“The Bible remains a source of comfort and inspiration that many people do find helpful.”
Mr Bartholomew said he was only responding to popular demand.
He added: “I thought it would be a special treat for our guests to find it in their bedside cabinet and that includes the men too.
“They are as desperate to get their hands on a copy as the women. “The Gideon Bible is full of references to sex and violence, although it’s written using more formal language, so James’s book is easier to read.”
He underlined the Gideon Bible would remain available at the reception desk. Mr Bartholomew believes many people intrigued by the book were too shy to buy it.
A Diocesan spokesperson said: “Fifty Shades of Grey is all the rage but is likely to be a passing fad. “The Bible is a classic, shaped and reshaped by Jewish and Christian communities over many centuries.”
“It is also an enduring source of comfort to travellers around the world and, we believe, the words of life.”
The Damson Dene, which is near Lake Windermere, featured in the first series of the fly on the wall TV show The Hotel.