Press release from the LGB&T Anglican Coalition.
Coalition offers assistance in Sexuality Reviews
Tuesday 2nd August 2011 – for immediate use
The LGB&T Anglican Coalition has written to the House of Bishops to offer its help in the forthcoming reviews on sexuality and the church.
Following his announcement of reviews on Civil Partnerships and Guidelines on Human Sexuality by the Bishop of Norwich, the LGB&T Anglican Coalition has written to the Rt Rev Graham James welcoming the reviews, and offering to meet with him in the near future.
The letter states, “We are sure that you will want to consult widely in the review process, and would like to offer our services at an early stage. We hope you will welcome this offer to meet a small team representing the Coalition to discuss how our members can contribute to this work.”
This offer stands in sharp contrast to claims made by Anglican Mainstream that such discussions have already been taking place during the past year.
Chair of the Coalition, Rev Benny Hazlehurst, said, “We are looking forward to the opportunity to engage with the House of Bishops in their work on sexuality, but Anglican Mainstream’s assertion that the reviews have come out of pre-existing discussions with LGBT groups is both untrue and misleading.”
In an open letter to Anglican Mainstream, the Coalition says it read with surprise Anglican Mainstream’s claim that the reviews “followed a year of conversations chaired by the Bishops of Lincoln and Bath and Wells, commissioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury, with leaders of the Lesbian and Gay groups in the Church of England.”
The open letter goes on to say that “Neither the Coalition nor any of its member groups were invited to take part in conversations of this kind.”
If the House of Bishops agrees to such meetings however, they will be in full accordance with Lambeth Resolution 1.10 which calls for a commitment ‘to listen to the experience of homosexual persons’ and the Coalition looks forward to the start of formal discussions.
The full text of the open letter to Anglican Mainstream follows below.
Full Text – Open letter to Anglican Mainstream
Dr Philip Giddings (Convenor)
21 High Street
Dear Dr Giddings
I am writing as Chair of the LGB&T Anglican Coalition, which brings together all the UK-based groups that work on behalf of the LGB&T members of the Church of England.
We read with surprise Anglican Mainstream’s ‘A response to the House of Bishops’ announcement of a review of its Guidelines on Human Sexuality’. It is wholly inaccurate that ‘This review followed a year of conversations chaired by the Bishops of Lincoln and Bath and Wells, commissioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury, with leaders of the Lesbian and Gay groups in the Church of England.’ Neither the Coalition nor any of its member groups were invited to take part in conversations of this kind.
We would question the assertion, with regard to ‘the 1998 Lambeth 1.10’ resolution, that ‘the listening process… was never part of the intention of the 1.10 resolution’. Part c of this resolution called for a commitment ‘to listen to the experience of homosexual persons’, and this was in accord with the earlier calls for dialogue as well as study in Lambeth 1978 Resolution 10 and Lambeth 1988 Resolution 64.
To quote from the subsection report recommended in part a of Resolution 1.10 in 1998:
We have prayed, studied and discussed these issues, and we are unable to reach a common mind on the scriptural, theological, historical, and scientific questions which are raised. There is much that we do not yet understand…
The challenge to our Church is to maintain its unity while we seek, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to discern the way of Christ for the world today with respect to human sexuality. To do so will require sacrifice, trust and charity towards one another, remembering that ultimately the identity of each person is defined by Christ.
You can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev Benny Hazlehurst
LGB&T Anglican Coalition