THE first priest to enter into a same-sex marriage has announced his intention to resign, and has accused the Church of England of being “institutionally homophobic”.
The Vicar of St Mary with All Souls, Kilburn, and St James’s, West Hampstead, the Revd Andrew Foreshew-Cain, is a member of the General Synod’s House of Clergy. He was formally reprimanded in 2014 when with his partner, Stephen, he entered into a civil marriage, contrary to the Bishops’ guidelines (News, 27 June 2014).
Now, he has told his parishioners that he is moving to Manchester, where his husband works, and does not expect to find a new post. “When we married, I was told that if I left here, then an active ministry officially in the Church of England would be over, and that is likely to be the case,” he wrote in a letter to his congregations.
No bishop, he said, would risk licensing him. “In the normal course of things, I would look for a job in the area. But I am on a blacklist. I can’t carry on being a priest because the institutional homophobia of the Church makes it impossible.”
A spokesman for the diocese of London understood that Fr Foreshew-Cain was moving to Manchester for personal reasons, but had not yet resigned.