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Stonewall, schools, and guest houses

06 December 2013


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 project (News, 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.

Diocesan Church House
North Hinksey Lane
Oxford OX2 0NB


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 sexualities positively.

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 of discrimination.

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 away.

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).

39 St Michaels Road
Liverpool L17 7AN

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