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 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 3 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 GamerGate: developer Tim Schafer provokes rage with joke about online gaming activists at industry awards
Harrison Ford plane crash: Actor will make full recovery thanks to 'beautifully executed' landing
Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
Oxford whistleblower's attempt to protect young victim of a sadistic gang went unheeded
How Homer Simpson discovered the Higgs boson over a decade before scientists
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...
£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...
£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A long-established, technology rich ...