Thursday, 6 May 2004

More local responses

See previous responses here including today’s St Albans Observer story.
The Herts Advertiser had this story Early July date for new Dean.

There are lots of letters to the editors about the new Dean of St Albans in both the local papers this week. Unfortunately only one paper has its letters on the web, but as many letters appear in both papers, it doesn’t matter so much. For seven days only, you can find links to all of them on this page

Among them was this:
Bigots’ response.

SIR, - Having learned of the proposed appointment of Jeffrey John as the Dean of St Albans, I was delighted to think that this man, who had suffered such despicable treatment last year resulting in his withdrawal from his appointment as the Bishop of Reading, should be coming to work in our city. However, not surprised but still extremely disappointed, I read in your newspaper, other local papers and the national press about the 40-strong band of “god-fearing folk” who under the collective of the St Albans Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship met and have publicly expressed dismay at his appointment.
What I find more sickening are the comments made by readers insinuating that because of his disclosed sexuality he would be a threat to our community, our young and to the church as a whole. Why do they really think that this man is a real threat, given his career to date, his achievements and his dedication to the Church? What grounds do they have to levy such insinuations?
Do the testimony of his peers, the likes of the Rt Rev Christopher Herbert, Canon Stephen Lake and the Rt Rev Richard Inwood, count for nothing by way of endorsement for a man who would be a great asset to the Abbey and diocese of St Albans? I believe that these prejudicial thoughts and beliefs are borne out of blinkered bigotry that comes from the inability to, or wanting to comprehend and assimilate a new situation or concept when confronted with it. The scriptures will be quoted as shields and weapons to attack Jeffrey John. However won’t the scriptures also teach that concept of being a good Christian is the ability to show compassion and tolerance to all?
The use of the scriptures and their interpretation not only lead to persecution of individuals, as I believe is the case here, but also lead to conflict and wars as we are witnessing on a day-to-day basis.
With the types of attitudes expressed by what seems to be a small yet powerful contingent within the church, it does not take a rocket scientist to hazard a guess as to why congregations are on the decline. How many of the people in the fellowship cited above or those who are quick to spout unfounded vitriol through “letters to the editor”, have taken time out to contact Jeffrey John and air their grievances directly. Very few I guess. Let those without sin cast the first stone.

A couple of others are worthwhile:

Typical reaction (from a rabbit fancier)

New Dean (from the local Quaker Meeting)

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 6 May 2004 at 9:21 PM GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: St Albans