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Act of Witness at General Synod

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The Evangelical Fellowship was present at an act of witness at February’s General Synod of the Church of England in London as part of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Anglican Coalition (LGBTAC).

Act of Witness at General Synod

Photo: Stefano Cagnoni

The member groups of the Coalition are:

  • Accepting Evangelicals
  • Changing Attitude
  • The Clergy Consultation
  • Courage
  • The Evangelical Fellowship for Lesbian and Gay Christians
  • Inclusive Church
  • General Synod Human Sexuality Group
  • The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement
  • The Sibyls

We were there as part of a joint Act of Witness to draw attention to the extent to which the Church of England relies on the many hundreds of LGB&T clergy who minister faithfully across the Church of England despite the institutional prejudice and suspicion they often face. Over 40 members and supporters of the LGB&T Anglican Coalition greeted synod members as they entered Church House, Westminster.

The Coalition has calculated that there are at least 1,500 LGB&T licensed clergy currently ministering in parishes, hospitals, diocesan offices and other ministries – over 13% of the total. Yet the culture of the Church of England remains a hostile place for many LGB&T clergy who often have to hide their sexuality, and their treatment by bishops is inconsistent with some acknowledging same-sex partners while others overlook them.

I was glad the EF was represented along with Accepting Evangelicals to draw attention to the fact that Evangelicals are also concerned with LGBT equality and are affected by the double standards of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’.

It should be noted that WATCH (Women And The Church) were also present with us. It is a joy to stand together as several of us stood with them as their ‘Women Bishops’ vigil two days earlier. In fact, I was seen on the BBC News report of their vigil, much to the amusement of my colleagues at work! Surely a wonderful example of United We Stand.

The photo on the right was taken by a Church Times photographer, Stefano Cagnoni. He belongs to the same church that John and I do. He was in fact the photographer when John and I made our covenant with each other in 2010.

Mike Dark
20th February 2012

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