Wednesday, 5 May 2004

St Albans local responses

From Watford, David Phillips has issued yet another press release on behalf of Church Society and sent a letter to Rowan Williams. All his St Albans-related missives can be downloaded from here but only as pdf files. It’s not clear why David persists in using this clumsy method, but for the convenience of TA readers, I reproduce the latest items in full below the fold.

And from Luton another newspaper story about Nicholas Bell appeared today. Canon Bell said:

“I convened a meeting of evangelical clergy and lay people throughout the diocese.
“It was without rancour and without vitriol and there was a high level of grace within the debate. But the crux of it was the issuing of the statement which registered our serious disquiet.
“If this appointment goes ahead it is pushing the Church of England in a certain direction which I am very unhappy about, towards the liberal view of the blessing of same sex relationships.”

The latest St Albans Observer local newspaper report says Dean welcomed by congregation and reports on the support within the congregation (and again about the messages received from elsewhere) and then adds:

We have been asked to clarify a statement made last week which claimed that the Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship represented 40 churches.
In fact 40 people, both clergy and laity, were present at the group’s meeting.
Our reporter was unable to confirm how many churches the fellowship represents.

An earlier St Albans report is here: Churches Rebel over Gay Dean.

The interesting thing about the DEF press release is that a majority of the 100+ members of it did not attend the meeting and have not expressed an opinion.

Full text of Church Society documents

Archbishop should demand Canon John’s resignation.
Statement from the Council of Church Society:

We the Council of Church Society are shocked and appalled by the recent appointment of Canon Jeffrey John to be Dean of St. Albans. Mr John’s open advocacy of same-sex sexual activity flies in the face of the clear teaching of the Bible and the Church of England and therefore ought to exclude him from ministerial office.

We are astonished that Archbishop Rowan Williams has apparently failed to oppose the appointment of a clergyman who so shamelessly flouts the teaching of Scripture that sexual activity should be confined to a man and a woman in marriage.

We therefore call on Archbishop Williams to urge Dr John to resign.

The text of a letter sent to the Archbishop is attached.

The Most Rev & Rt Hon
The Archbishop of Canterbury
Lambeth Palace

Dear Dr Williams,

We the Council of Church Society are profoundly shocked that you have permitted Dr Jeffrey John to be Dean of the Cathedral of St. Albans.

We had understood that after the appointment of Gene Robinson you had called for a moratorium on such appointments until the Lambeth Commission has conducted its work. We therefore see it as deeply hypocritical that you and the Bishop of St. Albans have failed to oppose the appointment as Dean of a man who openly advocates same-sex sexual activity. The clear teaching of both Scripture and the Church of England is that sexual activity should be confined to a man and a woman within marriage. Anyone who teaches to the contrary is clearly unfit for ministerial office in this Church. We therefore call on you to urge Dr John to resign.

Yours sincerely,

David Phillips (Revd)
on behalf of the Council of Church Society

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 5 May 2004 at 5:55 PM GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: St Albans