From the Revd Alan Chidwick
Sir, - In their letter, according to your report (News, 31
January), the Archbishops of Canterbury and York appear to be
encouraging the African Churches to adopt the attitudes of the
British government towards the gay community, while they themselves
have attitudes much closer in principle to those of the African
They want gay people to be part of the Church - but not priests;
they want gay people to know they are valued - but won't bless or
marry them. They are squeamish at the idea of execution or lengthy
imprisonment for being gay - and yet say little or nothing about
the gay hate-crimes that happen daily in Britain, and which are
fre-quently violent and sometimes fatal.
Research shows that 80 per cent of the population at large and a
similar proportion of those in the pews have, to quote Stonewall's
advertisement, "got over" the fact that some are gay. It is time
for the Bishops of the C of E to do the same, and apply the kingdom
values of justice, mercy, and peace to gays at home.
Marginalising people is also a form of imprisonment; denying
them full inclusion is a form of execution. The African Churches
might well listen to the Bishops in this country when they are less
hypocritical on this issue.
The Croft House, The Croft
Old Costessey, Norwich NR8 5DT