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Don’t let Wales follow Pilling’s example

23 August 2013


From the Revd Martin Reynolds

Sir, - The report of the Pilling group, due later this year, will provoke some curiosity here in Wales and throughout the Communion. It represents the last of several commissions initiated by the previous Archbishop of Canterbury. I can only hope that it has more success than the others. There is little to suggest that it will, however.

It is amazing that gay people and gay organisations have been willing to work with Sir Joseph Pilling, bearing in mind that his group has no gay representation. This idea that gay people are "them" rather than "us", objects to be paraded, questioned, and examined, belongs to the thinking of a previous administration, if not a previous century. I was moved by the story of one called to appear before Pilling, who, having submitted to the ignominy of being scrutinised, was told by one of group that they had not changed their mind.

If this represents the mind-set of some of those on the Piling group, then there is little hope.

My own province of Wales is about to launch a wide-ranging review of matters gay, and an un- disclosed panel has been formed to advise the Bench of Bishops on how it should respond. I can only hope and pray that gay people feature strongly on that group.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has seen the writing on the wall. Wisely, he recognises that the revolution in attitudes to same-sex relationships has already happened. The Pilling group, not just for its "all-white" composition, belongs to pre-revolutionary thinking, and I suspect that Lambeth Palace wishes it did not exist.

We can only hope that here in Wales the same unfortunate mistakes are not repeated.

MARTIN REYNOLDS The Orchards, Stow Hill
Newport NP20 4EA

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