Showing posts from October, 2018

clothe yourselves with love

Today, the Bishop of Oxford together with his area bishops in Dorchester, Reading & Buckingham, sent out a letter to the 1,500 clergy and lay ministers in the Oxford Diocese. The letter begins with a quotation from Colossians 3, words which the whole Diocese is being encouraged to live with in this season. It then considers six areas before its final conclusion, returning to Colossians: The current national process on questions of sexuality in the Church of England; the wider debate; inclusion and respect (the longest section, which re-iterates the Lichfield principles ); liturgy and prayers; an announcement of a new chaplaincy team in the diocese for LGBTI+ people and their families; and a commitment to ongoing listening to all within the church. The journey toward full acceptance for LGBTI+ people in the church is long and complicated, but letters like these in a diocese like ours from bishops who are united in courage, compassion, faith and love, take our journey forward

a never failing stream

I’ve just arrived in Atlanta, Georgia. I’m not sure what I’ll do today, but I think I may go down to the  Centre for Civil and Human Rights. Civil Rights theology has a lot to say for those of us engaged in LGBT+ theology. There comes a point when a minority community starts reading the Bible with different eyes. Instead of being told we are excluded, different, not worthy of the ordinary things that others get by token of ‘tradition’ or ‘privilege’,  we start to read every verse and ask -  “Why not us too?” If lepers are worthy of Jesus’ time and healing, why not us too? If a Samaritan woman gets living water, why not us too?  If you all get faith the size of a mustard seed and it moves mountains, why not us too? You see, traditionally, we are told there are six or seven verses in the Bible that are about gay people; and they all say that what gay people do is bad. But that’s just a nonsense, because why aren’t all the other verses about gay people too? Why are just t

bishops & cake

For me, as I look back, just a few days on, at the two launch events for my new book last weekend, the most remarkable thing is - how much I can’t remember! OK - so here are some headlines. Some facts. There were over seventy people at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford on Friday, and around half that number in Steeple Aston the day after. The first event was the big public launch, the second a chance for folk in my parishes to celebrate and enjoy the occasion. At Christ Church, we had bishops. Three of them. At Steeple Aston we had cake. Enough to feed a small army. You can decide which event you would rather have attended from that. Both featured people buying buying books, and me signing them - as you’d expect - checking every now and then ‘So that’s to Theodora spelled the usual way?’  Clare Hayns, Chaplain at Christ Church, hosted on Friday. Clare had organised the whole event brilliantly - so much so that I hadn’t had to do anything really. Thanks to Clare, the Cathed