The Guardian has an editorial, In praise of … Dr Jeffrey John
In the recent history of the Church of England, there can have been few more miserably resonant meetings than the one that took place on 5 July 2003 at Lambeth Palace between Archbishop Rowan Williams and his friend the then Canon of Southwark, Jeffrey John. It occurred because the nomination of Dr John, who is gay, as Bishop of Reading had set off a storm at home and overseas. Parishes had threatened to take their money and loyalty elsewhere, and senior clergy in Africa and the Caribbean had called for the nomination to be revoked. The meeting at Lambeth lasted six agonising hours. It ended with Dr John agreeing to sign a letter withdrawing his acceptance of the bishopric “in view of the damage my consecration might cause to the unity of the Church”. A few months later, Dr John moved to St Albans, where he has worked as dean with distinction ever since. Now, seven years almost to the day after the humiliation over Reading, he is a step away from becoming the next Bishop of Southwark. Dr John was shabbily treated over Reading. No damage that his consecration may have done compares to the damage done to the church and Dr Williams by its abandonment. Dr John has behaved with great dignity throughout. He has no presumptive right to the Southwark see. Yet surely neither he nor Dr Williams would have allowed things to get this far if they were not determined to see a different outcome this time. Right should be done. Dr John’s name should go forward.
The Associated Press has A gay bishop for the Church of England?