Grants have regularly been handed to a range of Christian, Muslim, Jewish and other religious groups since lottery funding began almost 20 years ago, mainly to finance community projects working with young or vulnerable people.

Research by the Guardian shows, however, that several faith groups which have received money in recent years have links to controversial material. These groups include the Christ Apostolic church in Luton, run by Pastor Stephen Oluwasola, which won a £10,000 lottery grant to set up an after-school club for students to play music together in 2007.

Oluwasola says the publicly funded club was open to any children. However, campaigners have raised concern over a Sunday school lesson plan, published by the church's Nigerian parent organisation, which has a clear message for dealing with gay people: "Eschew them!"

"Same-sex relationships are foreign to God's Law," the lesson plan says. "Anyone who practises lesbianism, homosexuality, gay-marriage etc is a beast! Don't do it!" It adds: "At the end of this lesson, the people of God should be showing deeper hatred for sexual sins."