From the Bishop of Oxford
Sir, - I fear that your article suggesting that "a row has
broken out" over Stonewall's involvement in an anti-bullying
29 November) simply perpetuates an unhelpful misconception that
arose after I spoke at the General Synod last month.
For clarification, last summer, the Archbishop of Canterbury
committed the Church of England to providing resources for our
schools to combat homophobic bullying.
That project is ongoing, managed by the Education Division, and
last autumn a consultant was appointed to research and write
materials. As part of that research, the consultant met a number of
organisations - including Stonewall - to research good practice.
Schools were also contacted to see what would be useful to them.
Currently, the project is in the writing phase. This will be
followed by trials in schools.
There is no endorsement of any particular organisation implied
in the project. The materials are specifically designed for Church
of England schools, taking full account of the doctrine and policy
of the Church of England, and the underlying Christian values at
the heart of our schools.
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Sir, - Anglican Mainstream have condemned a decision by the
Archbishop of Canterbury to create and share resources with
Stonewall, because Stonewall involves teaching children to regard
As a school chaplain, I am currently seeing yet another case of
a young man who has been broken by his churches' teaching on
homosexuality, and has been referred to a psychiatrist.
I am told at least once a week by my pupils that I believe being
gay is evil because I am a Christian; and, when I teach about
prejudice at GCSE, my pupils add "the Church" to the list of causes
Thank God for Advent and the chance to repent.
Name & Address Supplied
From Canon John Goodchild
Sir, - Publicity over the hoteliers who denied a gay couple a
bed (News, 29 November) does not promote marriage, but the
perception of Christians as judgemental and uncaring. If they had
been in Bethlehem, they would probably have turned Mary and Joseph
The hoteliers are victims of our Bishops' failure to give
Christian leadership. Samuel was told not to judge by outward
appearance, because God looks into the heart (1 Samuel 16.7); but
the Bishops have been obsessed with genitals, when they should have
spoken about quality of relationship, and affirmed that those who
live in love live in God, and God lives in them (1 John 4.16).
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