Friday, 7 May 2004

The Times on St Albans

The Times today has a report by Ruth Gledhill, that on the web is headlined Gay dean is backed with an early start, which asserts that:

THE installation of Jeffrey John as Dean of St Albans has been brought forward by three months as a signal of the cathedral’s support for the celibate gay clergyman at the centre of the Church of England debate over homosexuality.
Opposition in the St Albans diocese to Dr John, currently canon theologian at Southwark, has been gathering force and evangelicals have been meeting to plan a strategy to force his withdrawal, as they did from Reading last year.
The move of the installation service at St Albans to July from October is an indication that liberals in the Anglican Church are no longer prepared to allow themselves to be held to ransom by their more conservative brethren.
Senior clergy in the St Albans diocese want to avoid a repetition of what happened in the Oxford diocese, where evangelicals mounted a successful international campaign against the appointment of Dr John, an open but abstinent homosexual, as Bishop of Reading. Dr John was persuaded to stand down by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.

The cathedral has published the text of a letter sent to the editor of the paper today:

Dear Editor,
Your report ‘Gay canon to thwart critics with early start,’ (Friday, May 7th) claims that the installation of Canon Jeffrey John as Dean of St Albans had been “brought forward by three months as a sign of support at the cathedral.”
It is true that the Cathedral Chapter and the vast majority of the congregation have shown their support for the appointment and are looking forward to Dr John’s installation and ministry here. In addition, the Abbey has received numerous messages of support for Dr John since the appointment was announced.
A range of dates were considered when the Abbey, the Bishop of St Albans and Jeffrey John were available, and we chose the earliest date, as the Abbey community has been without a Dean since Christopher Lewis’ last Sunday in July 2003, before he left to be Dean of Christ Church, Oxford.
Cathedrals need Deans, and we are keen to have Dr John in this key role as soon as possible.
Yours faithfully,
Stephen Lake
The Revd Canon Stephen Lake, Sub Dean

The CEN was the only other journal to mention St Albans this week.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 7 May 2004 at 11:59 AM GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: St Albans