am gay and I want to come to your church. Will people welcome me?”
gay and I live with my partner, will your church welcome me?”
gay, in a civil partnership and wish to be ordained. Will the Church of England
I wonder how you’d answer
The answer to (3) is “No”
unless your relationship is celibate; yet the church wouldn’t demand this of a
Now three statements:
is an ordained priest in the Church of England and he and his partner recently
converted their Civil Partnership to a Gay Marriage. His Bishop told him he
could no longer have licence to serve in the church he was appointed to lead.
has been in a gay relationship for many years and he works as a priest in the
Church of England. His bishop turns a blind eye: he realises that if there was
a witch-hunt of all the gay priests living in civil partnerships in his
diocese, the diocese would collapse.
of England priests are not allowed to officiate at the marriages of gay couples,
despite the equal marriage bill being passed over a year ago.
*not their real names.
Church of England for many years has discussed and made statements about gay
people and it’s only just starting to catch up on the issues of bisexuality and
transgender. The Anglican Communion is deeply divided on the issue and is under
threat of breaking up over it. Many young people (inside and outside the
church) are astounded that the church is still living in what they think are
the Dark Ages. It is a further nail in the coffin for the Church. Yet, most of
us have met gay people, have gay people in our families and friendship groups
and know many stable gay relationships. However, many gay people aren’t
welcomed into their churches because they are gay, or churches will only
welcome gay people who are celibate.
During the last two years,
selected people from every diocese in the Church of England have been engaging
in professionally facilitated “Shared Conversations” in an attempt to enable
people of differing opinions to listen carefully to each other. In July of this
year, the General Synod has then been trying to explore ways of moving forward.
into Grace and Truth – revisiting scripture and sexuality” is
a book that was published to coincide with the recent General Synod meeting. It
consists of a number of chapters each written by a different person giving
their perspective on the gay issue. It was originally written for people from
the evangelical wing of the Church of England – being a book written by
evangelicals for evangelicals. Contributors include the Bishop of Liverpool,
the Dean of St Paul’s, London and the Bishop of Dorchester. Jayne Ozanne, who has
edited this book, tells her story of suffering two nervous breakdowns due to
the church’s attitude towards her as a gay person. It’s a book that I believe
needs to be read by everyone in the Church of England regardless of their
By the time you read this, I
hope we’ll have some copies for you to buy – I really hope you read it.