Letters: The home life of a gay bishop

Share

I wonder if the Church of England will be giving guidance to gay bishops as to what is acceptable behaviour. ("Gay bishops allowed – but they can't have sex", 5 January). Looking lovingly into partner's eyes: OK. Touching: only above the waist. Holding hands: not encouraged. Kissing: certainly not, whatever next? Perhaps cameras will need to be installed in shared homes to check levels of passion.

Chris Wright

Madeley, Crewe

Will flocks be required to blow the whistle if they suspect inappropriate levels of satisfaction in the episcopal marital bed?

James Kellar

Pewsey, Wiltshire

So: if one is a straight man, single or married, one can be a bishop. If one is a single gay man, one can be a bishop (providing one promises faithfully never to be intimate with another man). If one is a partnered gay man, one has to renounce everything promised at the civil partnership and promise to be celibate, and then one can be a bishop. If one is a woman, one cannot be a bishop, whether gay or straight, single or partnered, regardless of one's intimacy (or lack thereof) with anyone, male or female.

I am so pleased the Church has managed to clear all of this up: some of us were in danger of becoming very confused.

Jon Payne

Solihull, West Midlands

It is surely time for the Church of England to reclaim its traditional values of tolerance, to become the beacon of liberal Christianity that many of us thought it once was and that it could still be. Wider society has moved on, and fudges designed to placate the implacable, unappeasable, ungenerous and – dare one say it? – unchristian conservative evangelicals will please no one, and will yet again make the Church appear foolish in the eyes of the world.

Perhaps it is time for conservatives to question their obsession with sex and gender above the vastly more important fundamental values of Christianity.

Gavin Turner

Gunton, Norfolk

Doesn't it ill become those in the Church who accuse the Coalition of "redefining marriage" to redefine celibacy from being "a gift of the Holy Spirit" to an obligation on potential gay bishops? Or will the US military's discredited "Don't ask, don't tell" policy be made operative?

Dr Michael B Johnson

Brighton

Although I am an agnostic, I attend services in two churches most weeks, for the spiritual atmosphere, for the music and for the opportunity to receive a blessing from my son who is a priest in one of them.

I love the Anglican Church, but am increasingly squirming with embarrassment as it persists in inviting ridicule over its outdated and irrational obsession with sex. I can imagine historians in the future studying our times and comparing transcriptions of church debates with Monty Python scripts.

Michael Ardouin

Swansea

Apparently, gay men can become bishops, even if they are in a civil partnership. However, they must repent any sexual behaviour and promise to live a celibate life.

Perhaps this is the way forward for women – renounce your vagina and any children that you have had and you too can lead this incredibly forward-looking organisation!

Helen Carmichael

Tivetshall St Mary, Norfolk

Rail commuters don't sob – but they are angry

I think Mary Dejevsky misses the point ("Don't fall for the rail commuters' sob stories", 4 January). Commuters aren't sobbing, at least this one isn't. Nor do they feel uniquely put-upon – check out your next water or energy bill; we're all in the same fix. Many also don't choose to live away from metropolises, but are pushed out by cost of housing.

But they do feel angry paying way more than most rail travellers on the Continent for a service widely considered one of the worst. They feel even more annoyed buying a standard ticket for a third-class service when they can't get a seat.

Most commuters think rail privatisation, like that for water and energy, is a thieves' charter for second-rate businessmen who couldn't hack it in the real corporate world far from public subsidies. This has done nothing for customer choice or empowerment and even less for corporate competitiveness and accountability. Safe journey.

Jez Abbott

Hastings

Mary Dejevsky is right. Rail passengers have odd ideas about value for money. Perhaps the strangest is that they should receive it and be treated like humans rather than criminals.

I challenge her to experience more than a few weeks of daily rail travel between Sheffield and Leeds and not let out at least one small, bitter sob of despair. It is an unremittingly horrible grind. People cram on to the few Cross-Country services because they are the only ones that can do the 40-mile journey between Yorkshire's two largest cities in less than an hour. They would rather stand than put up with the other slow, clapped-out trains.

Martin Liddament

Sheffield

Weekly rubbish collections

The assertion that fortnightly rubbish collections are needed to increase recycling is lazy analysis and simply wrong ("Let's see you rubbish recycling, Mr Pickles", 2 January).

It was the policy of the Labour government to make it as difficult as possible for householders to responsibly dispose of their rubbish – introducing new bin fines, telling councils to cut services and planning new bin taxes. Letting rubbish pile up and issuing £1,000 penalties is a pretty crude way to treat residents.

By contrast, this government believes that households can go green and still have a comprehensive weekly service, through adopting innovation, rewards and better technology. For example, Windsor and Maidenhead increased recycling by at least 35 per cent by offering reward points rather than fines.

Our £250m Weekly Collection Support Scheme has saved weekly bin collections for up to six million families across the country and will help boost recycling rates through carrots not sticks. Households typically pay £120 a month in council tax – it's not unreasonable that they get a proper rubbish and recycling service in return.

Eric Pickles MP

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

London, SW1

Sort out the lazy academics

There may be something to be said for David Willetts' request to the Office for Fair Access to incentivise universities to privilege entry applications from working-class aspirants. However, it will do those students no favours to clear their path to universities whose complacently laissez-faire teaching methods continue to perpetuate educational disadvantage.

The changes necessary to make the university experience a wholly satisfactory one for more than the exceptionally gifted among disadvantaged students would go far beyond the present limited mindset of both the universities and the universities minister and his civil servants.

The most important single starting point would be to demand that lecturers lecture and tutors teach to minimum standards of quality. A significant proportion of undergraduates express dissatisfaction with "feedback".

The lazy lecturer who merely reads from a chapter of a standard student textbook and the tutor who scrawls a one-line comment on an essay are equally responsible for many universities' reputations as truly interested only in research. Contrast the late-stage, distinguished career academic who after decades' experience regularly delivers a long course of substantial, originally argued lectures. Compare the bright, dedicated young tutor who takes a student's best efforts and subjects it to detailed, point-for-point, constructive criticism.

Add to those basic teaching standards continuous, intensive, remedial teaching on substance and method for those students whose starting achievements are well below their evident potential, and you have a process of value addition truly worthy of the name education.

IAN RAY-TODD

London E5

Radio voices of the Fifties

Sorry, Michael McCarthy (5 January), but we baby boomers most certainly remember the name of Daphne Oxenford – for the very good reason that the announcer always said, before the signature tune of Listen with Mother: "When it finishes, Daphne Oxenford will be here to speak to you."

And our radio was not wooden! It was curved, shiny cream bakelite, stylish and very "Festival of Britain." But thanks for the memory.

Mary Nolze

Rusthall, Kent

It's interesting to reflect that Charles Chilton, the BBC radio pioneer (obituary, 5 January) rose from office boy to such a prominent creative and executive position, as did Louis Heren, Foreign Editor of The Times during the same era. We have widened opportunity enormously, but with 50 per cent of our young people going to university, is there any longer a chance to rise for a young person with no qualifications or money, even in the media?

Kerry Renshaw

Reading

Service with a scowl

I so agree with Natalie Haynes (Voices, 5 January) about the curse of the cheerful counter-hand. Having lived through the era when service with a scowl was the accepted norm, I find it all rather unsettling. There are, though, welcome exceptions.

At my local supermarket recently the young man at the checkout asked routinely how I was today.

"I'm fine," I replied civilly, "and how are you?"

"What do you care?" he muttered, without lifting his eyes from the barcode scanner.

My heart leapt and I left with a spring in my step. Unhappily, on my next visit I spotted him stacking shelves.

MICHAEL LEAPMAN

London SW8

Loyal to what?

How absolutely sickening it is to see the Union Jack being debased by so-called "loyalists" in Northern Ireland. Can the Government make it totally clear to these moronic thugs that their actions in attacking the police make genuine and decent British people more inclined to want to sever all association with Ulster. The "loyalists" should understand they are rapidly achieving what the nationalists want.

David Loader

Adderbury, Oxfordshire

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Savvy Media Ltd: Media Sales executive - Crawley

£25k + commission + benefits: Savvy Media Ltd: Find a job you love and never h...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Solicitor NQ+ Oxford

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Muslim men pray at the East London Mosque  

Sadly, it needs to be said again: being a Muslim is not a crime

Yasmin Alibhai Brown
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible