Monday, 3 November 2003

Inclusive Church welcomes GR

UK Anglicans welcome the consecration of Gene Robinson
PRESS RELEASE
3rd November 2003

The original release is here and reproduced below.

Inclusivechurch.net, the network of Anglicans working for an inclusive church, has whole-heartedly welcomed the consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire. ‘It is not only the people of New Hampshire who are celebrating this weekend,’ says Giles Fraser, the chair of inclusivechurch.net. ‘Inclusivity is at the very heart of the Gospel message. In Christ there is neither black or white, male or female, straight or gay. The consecration of Gene Robinson underlines the Biblical witness of God’s love for all.’

‘It was very important that Gene Robinson’s consecration took place,’ says Fraser. ‘Along with many others, I was very disappointed when Jeffrey John was forced to withdraw after having been appointed Bishop of Reading earlier in the summer. If the consecration of another openly gay priest, duly elected and confirmed, had failed to take place it would have been disastrous for the church.’

The statement from the Primates of the Anglican Communion, following their meeting at Lambeth Palace on 15-16th October, has begun a process that could lead to realignments in the church. But Fraser is of the firm conviction that groups who find it difficult to accept a gay bishop mustn’t split off from the Church. ‘I sincerely hope that people do not leave. The great genius of Anglicanism is that it manages to hold together unity and diversity,’ Fraser continues.

He also believes that the consecration is vital to the mission of the church. ‘In this country, 58 per cent of the population say they are Christians but do not go to church - in no small part because they think the church is judgmental. Gene Robinson’s consecration could hardly send out the message more strongly: the Anglican Church is an inclusive church.’

Notes:

Giles Fraser, the chair of inclusivechurch.net, can be contacted for comment directly on 07811 444011.

Inclusivechurch.net is a grassroots network of Anglicans with a campaigning edge, open to anyone who shares the vision of an inclusive church. It consists of thousands of people concerned over recent injustices in the church, including individuals from all wings of the Church. A number of organizations including LGCM, Changing Attitudes, Affirming Catholicism, MCU, GRAS and the Open Synod group are involved.

In August 2003 a petition was launched on the website inclusivechurch.net. It contains a Statement of Belief written by a group of Oxford theologians. The statement expresses the strong conviction that the Church is for all people regardless of sex, race or sexual orientation. It calls on the Church to act justly, particularly in the appointment of clergy and bishops regardless of sex, race or sexual orientation. Visitors to the website, be they individuals, PCCs (Parochial Church Councils) or other organizations, are invited to register their support.

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Comments

I hope Giles Fraser isn't assuming that the thousands of people who have signed the Inclusive Church petition are joining him in 'celebrating' or 'whole-heartedly welcoming' the consecration.

There are a lot of people who are working for an inclusive church who believe this wasn't the way to go about it and that in the long term more damage has been done than good.

Posted by: Dave on Monday, 3 November 2003 at 2:35pm GMT

As I signed up to a declaration calling for the opening up of "the ministries of deacon, priest and bishop to those so called to serve by God, regardless of their sex, race or sexual orientation", I would say that it would be a fairly safe assumption that I whole-heartedly welcome the consecration.

Posted by: Graham Ward on Tuesday, 4 November 2003 at 9:48am GMT

No, I don't believe it is a safe assumption that those who signed the declaration are all 'celebrating' this consecration.

I've posted some further thoughts here:
http://www.wibsite.com/wiblog/dave/read.php?1664

Posted by: Dave on Tuesday, 4 November 2003 at 2:05pm GMT