Letter: Clergyman's views incompatible with Christian ministry

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The Independent Online
Sir: Clearly it is difficult for the Church of England to employ an 'atheist priest', but the sacking of the Rev Anthony Freeman for his theological views is a regrettable and retrograde step.

Mr Freeman appears to be a conscientious priest who enjoys the support of his parishioners. To dismiss him for honestly and courageously raising important questions about contemporary Christian faith is shameful, especially when there are a significant number of others in the Church who share his views, although they may hold back from expressing them as openly.

The Church should encourage debate on the issues raised in Mr Freeman's book God In Us and in earlier books by Don Cupitt and others. Instead, it is seen to be stifling debate by creating a climate of fear and intolerance. Shooting the messenger will not alter the message.

Yours faithfully,

MARK STUBBS

Luton, Bedfordshire

28 July

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