Gay dean installed at St Albans amid protests by conservatives
Saturday 03 July 2004
Jeffrey John, the gay clergyman whose appointment as an Anglican bishop was thwarted by evangelicals last year, was yesterday installed as a cathedral dean amid renewed protests from traditionalists.
More than 2,000 people crowded into St Albans Abbey in Hertfordshire, the shrine of England's first Christian martyr, to witness Dr John take up his post.
Fears the ceremony would be marred by clashes between anti-fascist groups and the National Front, which had vowed to march on the cathedral, receded when the far-right group called off its action at the last moment.
But conservatives opposed to the move, seen as a victory for Church of England liberals seeking acceptance of actively homosexual clergy, continued to voice their disapproval. Dr John, 51, has been in a relationship with his partner, also an Anglican clergyman, for 28 years. The theologian, who is widely respected as a doctrinal expert, has said the relationship has long been chaste.
The Ven Paul Gardner, archdeacon of Exeter and a member of the traditionalist Anglican Mainstream group, said: "John should not be given a senior position in the church.
"A resolution approved by the Church of England urged those who have been involved in homosexual actions to repent, and he does not think that's necessary."
The installation of Dr John as Dean of St Albans follows his withdrawal last year from his appointment as Bishop of Reading when the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, reversed his earlier support.
The worldwide Anglican Communion, which is split on the issue of homosexuality, is currently waiting for the Lambeth Commission to report on the doctrinal debate.
But the appointment has led to tensions in the St Albans diocese, with two parishes withholding their contributions to central funds.
- 1 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
Alton Towers crash: Four guests seriously injured as Smiler ride carriages collide
Charles Kennedy dead: A guy once asked the Lib Dem leader who his favourite Muppet was and his letter response was wonderful
Gay teenager 'forced to have sex with his own mother' to 'cure' his homosexuality, campaigners in India say
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
£24000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Join a fast growing, UK based I...
Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: Whats the opportunity? A pro-act...
Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: Whats the opportunity? The small...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fabricator welder required for ...