Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 2 March 2022

Fergus Butler-Gallie The Guardian Bullying, evictions, contract disputes: no wonder we priests need a trade union
“Church of England clergy can no longer rely on goodwill alone. That’s why, increasingly, we are getting organised”

Will Moore ViaMedia.News Being Bisexual in Church — a Balancing Act

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Alastair
Alastair
2 months ago

I was interested to read the thoughts of ‘Bullying, evictions ” etc. from a priest. Yet it seems to me that in sharing his thoughts he seems to have inadvertently woven together two issues which are not necessarily interlinked. One how superiors have wrongfully managed, thereby ‘bullied’, priests. Secondly the apparent difficulty for young curates to seek a post as a priest for whatever duration. When I look at Church Times adverts it seems there are many vacancies throughout the country. Outside the Church of England many people seek posts or contracts which do not last for longer than a… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Alastair
2 months ago

The problem is that clergy do not have the job protections that apply to other occupations, as Butler-Gallie says. This is exacerbated by the fact that clergy are required to live in church housing, so that a change of job requires a house move and (usually) a change of schools for any children. Losing a job can entail eviction, sometimes with no regard to the personal circumstances of the clergy and families. With no employment protection, clergy can lose their jobs and homes literally ‘on the whim’ of a superior (quoting Butler-Gallie), undeservedly and with no reason given. Sometimes clergy… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Janet Fife
2 months ago

“The problem is that clergy do not have the job protections that apply to other occupations, as Butler-Gallie says”
 
It’s worth unpacking that statement. Clergy should not need employment protection – the Church of England ought to be an exemplary employer which behaves in accordance with best practice without needing to be forced to do so by law. It’s hard to see how the Church of England can be an effective church unless it is highly principled in the way it treats people, without needing law to force conduct.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Kate
2 months ago

You’re right that the Church should be an exemplary employer. But, human nature being what it is (even supposedly redeemed human nature), some senior clergy and church legal entities take advantage of being able to get away with extremely shoddy treatment of their clergy. They can get away with it because they can’t be taken to an employment tribunal. The legal complexities of trying to do so are huge and therefore expensive, and they hardly ever successful.

mikethecanon
mikethecanon
Reply to  Kate
2 months ago

Over 25 years ago I was the first Clergy Trades Union secretary of what is now known as ‘Faithworkers’. The incidences of bullying and intimidation by senior staff were such that we formed an important alliance with MSF – now Unite. ‘Now is well past the time to wake up out of sleep….’. As Janet says the vulnerability of clergy to mistreatment is a constant sword of Damocles. More of the younger clergy are going to be made redundant in the future as the church becomes bankrupt. Measures are already in place to enable sackings with less liability. Church of… Read more »

Marcus
Marcus
Reply to  Alastair
2 months ago

As one of the curates being mentioned, I’d ask Alastair to look a little closer at the ‘many vacancies’ he notes. There are precious few full time stipendiary posts being advertised, but lots of house-for-duty or other part-time posts, and almost no posts with any security of tenure. For those supporting families these posts are all unsuitable.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Marcus
2 months ago

«“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.» – Matthew 6:24
 
I think the argument you are making goes against Scripture. Nonetheless, there is a need for clerical security for the same reason that university academics need job security: it ensures clergy can be confident of speaking out and aren’t cowed by the hierarchicalism of the church.

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Kate
2 months ago

How is pointing out the lack of job security for priests with spouses or families “serving two masters”?
Trusting in God is fine, but if you’re let go (for whatever reason) by a local church and told to pack your bags, explaining to children it is God’s will is a tough sell.
The CofE allows clergy to marry (which I fully support). That comes with consequences both for the clergy and the CofE.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Marcus
2 months ago

Whilst I want to be respectful of the difficulties described by Marcus and Fergus, perhaps we need to put it into a wider context. These problems are no different to those faced by any other person coming out of a degree level vocational training course such nursing, teaching, social work, or law. I wonder if those entering the priesthood have it better than most, due to the availability of accommodation as part of the package. The profession I know most about is nursing. It used to be the case that nurses and junior doctors had accommodation provided by their hospital,… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Simon Dawson
2 months ago

Indeed. When I entered healthcare I was provided with a tiny bedroom in a run-down hostel, which had a problem with rats. Even that has now gone. As a nursing student (and after) I had to pay private rent because no accommodation was available. That was a huge cost, especially in London. The only way I could do that was working weekends in a care home, and 6 weeks in the summer as a healthcare assistant at a hospital. It put real pressure on my studies, but I had to work those extra hours just to survive. Of course, all… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Alastair
2 months ago

The points made in response to Alastair’s remarks by Ms Fife and Marcus are (it seems to me) very important, because they indicate what a Catch-22 stipendiary ministry is becoming. Once clergy retirement became compulsory 47 years ago, it became urgent for clergy to get onto the housing ladder as young as possible, given that the lump sum payable on retirement would never be sufficient to purchase any unit anywhere. It became impossible for clergy to accumulate sufficient savings out of their stipends to be able to purchase a unit outright on retirement and, of course, most lenders would not… Read more »

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Froghole
2 months ago

Certainly those clergy who want to retire to the more affluent areas of the country will struggle, but there are still parts of the UK where house prices are more reasonable. The clergy stipend is not extravagant but it is still more than most people have to get by on and with judicious housekeeping it is possible to put money aside for our retirement. Some clergy have spouses earning handsome salaries and others have private means. As with other groups in society there are clerics who are thrifty and those who are feckless.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Fr Dean
2 months ago

Fair enough, Fr. Dean, and many thanks. Yet in the cheapest part of the country, the north-east, the average house price is £140k (I have not been able to find data for the median house price), which is approaching six times the average stipend. I suppose that it might be possible for a disciplined priest, with no dependents, to save half his/her income, but it leaves very little margin for error. Hopefully clergy will have access to decent financial advice, and are not keeping their savings in cash deposits that are currently being eviscerated by inflation.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Fr Dean
2 months ago

I have no dependents, am quite disciplined about spending, and have always been a saver. But I also had no income or resources other than my C of E stipend (I’m now retired), and no family to fall back on. I’ve twice moved into vicarages where I had to supply many of the fixtures and fittings myself, as well as carpets, vinyl flooring, and curtains throughout. One of my parishes was in a deprived area so I didn’t claim all of my expenses; I’ve always bought my own computer equipment. House prices have been going up for years, while interest… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Janet Fife
2 months ago

Yes Janet. I was lucky in getting on the property ladder 10 yrs after ordination with parental help.But single clergy are in a difficult position and although the Pension Board has property, single clergy may have to retire to places where they don’t have friends or family. I suppose with clergy getting ordained in their mid/ late 40s some may be in a different position from those ordained much younger. The situation all round is complicated by many factors, but it needs addressing.

Nicholas Elder
Nicholas Elder
Reply to  Janet Fife
2 months ago

Thank you, much of that has been my experience, too. (though I have had the advantage of an inheritance to enable me to buy a house), and I now have a pension far better than will be offered to those in the early stages of ministry.
It does concern me that I now of so many reaching retirement at the moment haven’t had the resources to provide for their future accommodation. Fr Dean obviously lives in Kirstie’s world where by cutting down on all these lattes hey presto! a mortgage becomes available for the ‘feckless’.

John Wallace
John Wallace
Reply to  Nicholas Elder
2 months ago

A priest friend of mine working in the South of England, approached Retirement Housing. He was told they would help him to buy a house in Doncaster with which he had no connections, but not in the South of England, where his family lived. Fortuately with the help of his daughter and son-in-law, who was a very successful lawyer, he now has a house nearby so can support them with childcare.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Nicholas Elder
2 months ago

Stipendiary clergy don’t have any mortgage, rent, council tax, water rates, broadband, telephone line rental or buildings insurance to pay and the cost of heating and lighting, gardening and cleaning is all tax deductible saving them income tax and national insurance; so it ought to be possible to build up a nest egg for retirement. Why clergy think that they should have preferential arrangements to say that of nurses for example I’m not sure. We are extremely fortunate to have the safety net of the housing provided by the Pensions Board for impecunious clergy, and there are a number of… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Fr Dean
2 months ago

Since clergy are required to move away from their parish on retirement, applying to their local housing authority for social housing is not of much help.

As for the ‘nest egg’, how are clergy to save £200k + when interest rates have been abysmal for so long and the stock market fluctuates?

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Janet Fife
2 months ago

Not really relevant to the thrust of this thread, but when I retired we moved across the road. After following me around for 50 years, my wife made the decision to stay in Burton where she’d gathered a group of friends and where the house and garden opposite the vicarage suited her and suited our 150K budget (I was a late ordinand). I knew of the convention that clergy should move away, but ignored it – there was nothing in print – confident that my wife would be more than a match for any diocesan apparatchik who dared to challenge… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
2 months ago

There are consequences also for the parish and the vicar who follows you. If the former vicar hangs around, it’s much more difficult for parishioners to transfer their loyalties to the new priest and let go of the old one. It’s also more difficult for the old priest to keep out of parish matters when they’re still living locally and seeing parishioners daily. I know of several intractable situations where the former vicar has hung around, to the detriment of everyone concerned – including him.

The requirement ought to be enforced.

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Janet Fife
2 months ago

I keep away

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Janet Fife
2 months ago

… and anyway after over 2 years it’s clear that I’m irreplaceable. Regarding enforcement, how would you propose to do that without bringing the church yet further into disrepute? That’s a rhetorical question – answer not required.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Janet Fife
2 months ago

There is no ‘requirement’ whatsoever for clergy to move away from their locale. Even the wretched CDM doesn’t reach that far. Any busybody bishop evincing an opinion on such matters ought to be invited to mind their own beeswax.

Ian
Ian
Reply to  Fr Dean
2 months ago

Not just clergy. When i was due to move from my first curacy. the bishop suggested to me that my wife, who had taken up a teaching post in a state school in the parish, should resign, as it would interfere with the appointment of a new curate! Needless to say we took precisely no notice at all, and she went on to become headteacher.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Ian
2 months ago

I had lots of helpful comments from former incumbents irrespective of the proximity of their residential address. Some were helpful and welcome, as to the rest I smiled sweetly, nodded sagely and did my own thing.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Janet Fife
2 months ago

The need to move away needs to be … removed, so that retirees can qualify for housing support.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Janet Fife
2 months ago

The bishops are very clear that clergy should always claim their expenses in full; the labourer is worthy of his or her hire.

Marcus
Marcus
Reply to  Fr Dean
2 months ago

I think you’re missing the point Fr Dean….the observation I was making is that there are precious few actual ‘vicar’ posts to apply for……

But please, do keep going on about how feckless the established Church of England clergy are for failing to make their stipends stretch to funding house purchases. It really warms them to you.

Cantab
Cantab
Reply to  Marcus
2 months ago

I, too, shall continue to feel feckless for finding a single stipend is a stretch to support a family of four.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Cantab
2 months ago

But why should the home economics be any different for a cleric with four children to that of a teacher, pharmacist or optometrist with four children?

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Fr Dean
2 months ago

The difference in daily life is probably not great until they retire, are dismissed, or burn out. At that point the teacher, pharmacist, optometrist, or nurse usually has either a home they own or an existing rental agreement, while the cleric is looking for a new home in a new area at what is already a difficult point in their lives, and with no equity accrued. The other difference is that in most occupations it’s possible to stay at home on days off and for holidays, to save money, while if clergy stay at home they’re still on the job.… Read more »

Bruce Deans
Bruce Deans
Reply to  Marcus
2 months ago

That’s quite funny. Good luck in finding a post Marcus – I’ve just scanned this weeks’ Church Rimes and I can see what you mean!

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Marcus
2 months ago

Nurses, radiographers, librarians social workers et al seem to manage to buy houses. Why should clergy of all people be feather bedded in a way that these professions aren’t? There are a shortage of full time stipendiary posts because the CofE is haemorrhaging membership and so is dying out.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Fr Dean
2 months ago

I think what you’re missing is that by and large none of those professions do manage to buy without family help or at the very least having two professional salaries coming in. I know that, as a teacher supporting a family on a single wage, buying a home would not be possible for me without generous help from family. Clergy stipends are adequate to live on once benefits in kind are accounted for but it’s not realistic to expect clergy to be able to save a deposit and then service a mortgage from one. This means that clergy without other… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Jo B
2 months ago

The age profile of the stipendiary clergy has changed significantly since the 60s when many got ordained in their twenties. Now it is in the forties I believe but the Church is once again encouraging early vocations. Changes in the pension scheme mean younger clergy need to be aware from the start of the implications although retirement seems a long way away. Tied housing, no council tax etc is a great boon in your twenties but many clergy remain in parochial ministry and if they are single or there is only one salary things may indeed become difficult. But let’s… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Jo B
2 months ago

“…This means that clergy without other means are likely to need to rent in retirement, and it seems very unlikely that the half-stipend promised would be sufficient for that…” …which makes them the same as nurses, cleaners, teachers… only those categories don’t get free housing thrown in during their working lives. I suppose the question I would ask is: why do we think priests should get all that free housing thrown in AND have some privileged right of access to home ownership which (as you recognise) is not accessible for many other people in just as important jobs? I’m not… Read more »

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Susannah Clark
2 months ago

As a teacher, my pension will be based (at present) on 45/57 of my average salary, assuming I stay in teaching until retirement at 68. That’s a lot more than half, and from a larger base salary (because your notional 12k for housing is not counted when calculating pension). I could, if necessary, continue to afford rent out of a pension of that sort of magnitude (particularly with state pension on top and no longer needing to pay NI, pension contributions, student loan), but a retired priest would be getting far less. I don’t know the nurses’ pension scheme well,… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Jo B
2 months ago

Thanks Jo, I appreciate your counter-argument, good points, and thank you for replying.

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Fr Dean
2 months ago

Bishops can say what they like. The reality is that some parishes can cover such costs and some can’t.

Philip Johanson
Philip Johanson
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
2 months ago

It is an unfair system – some parishes can afford to cover expenses and others cannot. Bishops on the other hand put their expenses claim into the Church Commissioners and are fully reimbursed. Perhaps the system should be changed so that clergy put their expense claims into the diocese and are fully reimbursed.
 

A (not so) humble parishioner
A (not so) humble parishioner
Reply to  Philip Johanson
2 months ago

After all the parish share is there to cover the costs of mission, specifically the costs of clergy after all…

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Fr Dean
2 months ago

Indeed so, and it causes real problems for their successors if they do not – I write from experience.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Fr Dean
2 months ago

That is of no help if your parish can’t afford them.

Bob
Bob
2 months ago

Could a reason for the short, time limited contracts on offer be the financial position of most dioceses.

Nicholas Elder
Nicholas Elder
Reply to  Bob
2 months ago

In the real wold, where no tied accommodation is involved, people tend to start to look for their next post 18 months after entering a three year contract. Pastorally disastrous.

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Nicholas Elder
2 months ago

Agreed. My local church has two curates who will be moving on in June after their three years in post. In the neighbouring parish their curate will move on next year after three years in post. Both parishes are in an inter-regnum too. However, the diocese has a huge budget deficit and very little historical wealth to fall back on, unlike some other diocese like Oxford.

Charles Clapham
Charles Clapham
2 months ago

Incidentally, most mortgage lenders will not give new buyers permission to rent with a standard home buyers mortgage. So if clergy want to buy a house for retirement, and rent it out in the meantime to pay the mortgage, they will usually need a buy-to-let mortgage with a typical deposit of 25% or more. The alternative is for a standard mortgage with (say) 10% deposit – but then the property can’t be rented out for at least the first year or two, and the clergy will need therefore to have sufficient resources to cover the mortgage in full for the… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Charles Clapham
Kate
Kate
Reply to  Charles Clapham
2 months ago

Maybe the Church Commissioners should offer mortgages to clergy which would allow them to rent the property out?

Shamus
Shamus
Reply to  Charles Clapham
2 months ago

This link provides information on retirement property arrangements for clergy who cannot afford a retirement property of their own. It is called the CHARM scheme.
https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/clergy-resources/retirement-housing/rental

Dave
Dave
2 months ago

Bullying, control and coercion are totally unacceptable yet, it seems, alive and well in the hierarchy of the Church of England. Bishops quite frankly are unaccountable. Private Eye makes a very important point on this in the current issue. What other organisation of the size of Dioceses / Church of England has no clearly advertised anti bullying policies, or whistle blowing policies? What is needed? More speaking out about the bullying behaviour by groups of clergy, and with church officers’ and lay support. Bishops and hierarchy need themselves to face CDMs- on bullying, coercion, lack of due care, after all… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
2 months ago

I have been very interested in the comments made from all sides of the debate during the course of this thread. Each is providing their own version of what I perceive to be the same truth. The truth is this: that the cost of shelter in this country is as insane as it is because of a deep sickness in our society. Contrary to our unwarrantedly elevated sense of ourselves, the UK is actually a profoundly corrupt country. Many of the supposedly ‘nice’ people who are our friends and neighbours are not actually all that nice in reality: for when… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Froghole
Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Froghole
2 months ago

I would not argue with a single word of this, Froghole. Not only is our society deeply corrupt, but so are most if not all of its institutions, for as you said about the Army (I think), they merely reflect the society of which they they are part. My own background and experience lead me to put most of the blame for this corruption at the us/them polarity that fee-paying schools reflect and entrench. It is often said by those who enjoy mocking the Irish that Irish society is more corrupt than English. This is in my 20 years experience… Read more »

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
2 months ago

It may well be true that “ Christ-like ministry is not compatible with family life”. The alternative is to emulate the RC model of ministry which is cheaper and requires a celibate clergy. Sadly, this can lead to fewer vocations, loneliness, alcoholism, and a higher incidence of sexual abuse. Perhaps no one is capable of the unrealistic expectations required in the ridiculous advertisements seen in the Church Times where parishes expect the vacancy to be filled by someone identical with Jesus.

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  FrDavid H
2 months ago

Quite so, Fr. It’ll be interesting to read the advert for the job I vacated over 2 years ago, if they ever get round to advertising it. No doubt there will be “exciting” opportunities for evangelism and mission work (whatever they might be) in an increasingly Muslim community. Who will pay the stipendiary priests coming into the church today? They are being callously tricked by an institution that continues to foster young vocations. All this and much more has been said before. Never mind, talk of dusting off plans for a nuclear winter puts this self-indulgent prattle into perspective – and… Read more »

Anne
Anne
Reply to  Stanley Monkhouse
2 months ago

“They are being callously tricked by an institution that continues to foster young vocations.” I am not sure it’s a deliberate callous trick. From what I’ve observed of senior clergy, DDOs etc., there seems to be quite a lot of self-deception, which is arguably necessary as a form of self-protection. It must be deeply stressful to be in roles where you have to foster vocations (especially young vocations). You are tasked to recruit people into a system/process/role that you know won’t be able to sustain or support them. In some cases, it will ruin lives by placing clergy and families under… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Anne
2 months ago

I accept what you say: maybe some calculated trickery, but largely deliberate and self-protective blindness to shade the glare of reality. In the past, some governments deliberately overproduced doctors in order to control them and their wages. Maybe they still do.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Anne
2 months ago

The current bench, notably the present archbishop of York (who will probably be translated to Canterbury), seem to believe the shibboleth that more paid clergy always = better attendance. I have long been sceptical about this. There were more stipendiaries in the past, and yet the rate of decline in national attendance was sometimes as fast, or even faster, than it has since become. In law there are, to put it very crudely, two main forms of contractual fraud: (i) where the party committing the fraud makes a representation to the innocent party in full knowledge of its untruth; and… Read more »

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  Froghole
2 months ago

So far as the Church Commissioners are concerned, we can contrast the “consistent core funding” (as I call it) of Bishops and Cathedrals – based of course on the fact that the endowments of Bishops and Cathedrals were appropriated to the Commissioners – and the “challenge funding” of Renewal and Reform. Cathedrals, of course, have faced funding challenges on a large scale, but that has not included the cost of a core clergy team. I wonder if Bishops were faced with funding constraints determined on the front-line rather than at the centre, whether the same decisions would be made. But… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Mark Bennet
2 months ago

Many thanks for that. It sometimes seems to me that the Church has a special gift for obfuscatory rhetoric. What has ‘Reform’ meant, in reality? As per GS2222 it meant refining the consultation processes for pastoral reorgansation in order to make it easier for bishops and DBFs to realise capital via the sale of assets, with that capital being expended upon the redemption of existing liabilities to the Commissioners incurred when income collapsed during the pandemic (amongst other purposes): a stratagem rendered all the more perverse by the enormous increase of the Commissioners’ asset base during the pandemic. If that… Read more »

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
Reply to  Froghole
2 months ago

I’m late to this thread, but two brief thoughts. I led a discussion about parish share with church wardens in November least year. When we delved into the diocesan formula for parish share it was noted by some wardens that there was no rise in stipend for clergy in 2022. One new warden asked if the parishes could pay at supplement to the clergy, to cover the rise in inflation. That one generated a bit of discussion! Secondly I think the Diocese in Europe, especially in the north of France, can expect an upsurge in PTO clergy in the next… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Stephen Griffiths
2 months ago

Many thanks. I have indeed encountered a small number of clergy who have been migrating to France or Spain over the last decade. There are three problems with making that move: (i) it puts the clergy in question, who are receiving their pension in sterling, at the mercy of the exchange rate (they therefore lost a large part of their real income in 2016, although now sterling is not far off where it was prior to the referendum); (ii) the relative lack of a support network can become a massive problem if the retiree or spouse falls ill, lacks sufficient… Read more »

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
2 months ago

I observe that of the 58 comments on this thread thus far there have been none relating to Will Moore’s article. Given that there are regular contributors here who will freely comment on matters L, G and T, are we to take it that the “erasure” of B of which Moore speaks extends even to TA?

Susannah Clark
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
2 months ago

Okay Father Dexter, I’ll bite. I think you’re right to point out that bisexual people are often the ‘poor relative’ in discourse on LGBT+. In fact, I think bisexual people are very precious in Christian communities, both for who they are as individuals or couples, and for the way they challenge and subvert the rigid policing of some Christians along ‘required’ heterosexual and cisgender lines. I’d go further, and suggest that actually a much larger number of people have bisexual elements to their personality and nature than generally openly acknowledge that (even sometimes to themselves). For example, I identify as… Read more »

Bruce Deans
Bruce Deans
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
2 months ago

Silence is golden.

Honestly, who cares?

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Bruce Deans
2 months ago

“Silence is golden”, and “honestly who cares”.

Responses well known to safeguarding victims in the church, and to those of us who are gay, or trans, or black, or disabled, or women, and who want to create discussion around problems we have faced.

Responses most frequently offered by white straight men, or people in positions of privilege and authority.

Responses, where, consciously or unconsciously, people act to shut down discussion, rather than constructively facilitate attempts to explore the issues at hand.

Bruce Deans
Bruce Deans
Reply to  Simon Dawson
2 months ago

Unlucky.

I’m bisexual and from an ethnic minority.

Moving on….

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