The Evangelical Fellowship for Lesbian and Gay Christians welcomes the appointment of the Rt Revd Dr John Sentamu, currently Bishop of Birmingham, as Archbishop of York. This is an imaginative and courageous appointment. Bishop John is passionate about bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to those on the margins of society, and has done much to tackle racism in the Church and society.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, nominated him recently for a seat on a panel to help resolve disputes over the church’s attitude towards homosexuality. Although he stands by the Lambeth Resolution of 1998, which rejects homosexual practice as ‘incompatible with scripture’ and rules out gay marriage in church, he is on record as condemning homophobia in the strongest terms. We look to him to facilitate genuine conversation between those who affirm lesbian, gay and bisexual people within the Church, and those who find this difficult. Bishop John said yesterday – ‘What I hope is that when people violently disagree with one another in the same family, they will find a language for living together and ways of talking to one another’.