Bishop of Blackburn acts on House of Bishops’ Pastoral Statement

The Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Revd Julian Henderson, who has a reputation as one of the most conservative of the evangelicals in the House, is already taking action against gay clergy in his diocese. In the light of the Bishops’ Pastoral Statement he has asked to meet the four clergy in the diocese who are known to be in civil partnerships.

He may, of course, want to meet them to offer pastoral support and affirm their relationships and the love they have for their partners. But set in the context of the House of Bishops’ Pastoral Statement that seems unlikely.

In my interview for the Radio 4 Sunday programme yesterday I warned that Saturday’s statement may herald a time of persecution against lesbian and gay people in the Church of England. That’s what it already feels like for many supporters of Changing Attitude England and those who are members of the other groups in the LGBTI Anglican Coalition.

We have entered a time of great risk for lesbian and gay clergy in the Church. Are individual bishops really going to conduct a witch hunt against lesbian and gay clergy in civil partnerships?

A campaign of active definiance of the House of Bishops’ Statement is quickly evolving. A wise Archbishop would intervene now before the situation runs out of control.

Comments

  1. Alan Hilliar says

    I think it would be more useful to have views / actions from other bishops first. I hope we will see a concensus emerging which will have greater tolerance at heart

    • Anonymous says

      A concensus that presumably Bishop Julian will see fit to ignore, having aleady been given permission to act by the bishop’s statement. This needs urgent rescinding.

  2. Anonymous says

    This is dreadful news. I hope that LGBTI clergy may have the courage to stand firm and refuse to resign or lie. Maybe if they wait and get dismissed or inhibited their laity will tell the bishops what they are losing? And we will see why the Anglican Church needs to think again before it says what it believes and does not act on it.

  3. J Gibbs says

    The omens are not good.
    Reading through JW’s speech to Synod it was noticeable how harsh his tone was when speaking of SSM, in marked contrast to the tone used when speaking about women bishops. I know he approves one rather than the other, but surely it’s reasonable to expect the Archbishop to be even-handed?

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