The Bishop of Buckingham has made an address at the PinkNews Awards, saying he is “ashamed” at the way gay people have been treated by the Church of England.
The Rt Rev Dr Alan Wilson, spoke at the PinkNews Awards gala dinner, which was held in honour of the Human Dignity Trust.
In his address, before giving thanks, he made a promise “that the faith communities of this country will be very much more part of the solution than the problem.”
“Knowing that the institution that I represent has not got a glorious record in terms of its dealings with its own LGBT people and the community at large – I am ashamed about that, and I need to say that. And in a context when we are all slapping each other on the back,” he said.
“And we all know there is further work to do, and our great leaders have been telling us what could be. I want to pick up on what Lynne [Featherstone] said about the great Orthodox religions of the world, and about the way that the really good things could begin to assert themselves. Doing justice, loving mercy, walking humbly with God. If it was about that rather than some of the minutia of the book of Leviticus, perhaps the world would be a better place.
“I look forward to a day when frankly the Church of England will stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution.” Continuing, he said: “We need to change. The change has to be different. We need to stand up to bullies and we need to realise that its not just about being nice to gay people it is about a world in which human dignity is valued and honoured and has some kind of home in the world without having to excuse itself for being a second-class guest at somebody else’s party.”
The struggle in order to allow gay people to marry, I’ve got a book out on it – I’ve got a great fat file of ‘Hitler was right’ letters. You get a load of those in my game. It’s all rubbish, actually it’s all crap. The day will come when I promise that the faith communities of this country will be very much more part of the solution than the problem.”
Saying Grace, he said: “Now lets give thanks. All the world belongs to you God of love, of justice, of mercy. You open your hand always in time, you sustain our every moment. Bless this food, make it a sign of our belonging to each other and to you, in Christ, Amen.”