Showing posts from November, 2020

Living in Love and Faith: One - Suddenly Equal?

With the publication of Living in Love and Faith , the House of Bishops’ project on human identity, sexuality and marriage, I am going to offer three short reflections.  As a gay man and an evangelical, I was invited to be part of this project around half way through its life. This first reflection will be on the book, the main resource, and it will be very positive. My second will be on the process, or rather - on my experiences of the process. This is inevitably a personal view. It’s not going to be so positive. The final reflection will be about my hopes for what this whole project might offer LGBTQ people both within and beyond the fellowship of the Church of England. I’ll let you wait to see how that pans out! The main text of the book is over 420 pages long. There is no way that I can review all of that or even begin to say that I agree with everything that is in it.  I don’t agree with all sorts of things in it. But I've  already  told you I'm going to be very positive

Living in Love and Faith: Two - Predictably Discriminatory

This is the second part of a three-part blog as the Church of England's Living in Love and Faith report is published. If you haven't read part one - Suddenly Equal? - please click here before continuing! Dr Christina Beardsley’s article in the Church Times in February 2019 said pretty much everything that needs to be said. Take the time; read it. It’s grim reading, but pretty definitive.  Her final words are: When they launched LLF, our Archbishops assured us that no one was an issue or a problem. I’d like to believe it. Were that true, though, my experience of LLF would have been very different. I am genuinely delighted with chapter 10 of the Living in Love and Faith book, and its unambiguous theology of equality and diversity. But I lived through nearly two years as a member of the project, and in most of that time I too experienced more out-and-out homophobia than I have experienced anywhere for a very long time. Tina is right.  Talking about details feels a little bit lik

Living in Love and Faith: Three - Stubbornly Hopeful

This is the third of my three reflections on the publication of the Church of England's Living in Love and Faith resources.  If you have't read the other two parts of this - please do so! Part one can be found here , and part two here . The first thing I want to say here is that although there have been times when I have been extremely frustrated with Dr Eeva John, the enabling officer of the LLF Project, honestly I think she is a marvel. Presented with an undoable task and an unwieldy machinery for accomplishing that task, Eeva has done a terrific job. Do I like it all? No. Do I think huge mistakes were made along the way? Yes. But Eeva was dealt an unplayable hand and has somehow produced a resource that can take the C of E forward.  Whenever I get frustrated with straight people who are put in charge of LGBTQ people’s lives (especially in the Church), I always remind myself - how can they possibly get this right? It’s not as if I begin to understand what life is like for the