THE Bishop of Grantham, Dr Nicholas Chamberlain, has expressed his gratitude that the silence over LGBT+ people has been broken.
“Many LGBT+ people have experienced the disempowerment of silence and of being silenced,” he writes on the Via Media blog in a post that will be published at 7 a.m. on Easter Day. “Thankfully, many LGBT+ people have also found our voices.”
The Bishop, who has a same-sex partner, goes on to write: “The Church in its different denominations needs people who can speak authentic words of love now.” His prayer, he says, is that “God’s people will shake off fear, ignorance and prejudice, and reach out to each other and to the world in love . . . whatever our gender identity, sexuality or personal circumstances”.
Dr Chamberlain’s is the last of the Voices of Hope series, 40 short reflections posted each day through Lent by LGBT+ Christians. Each has written about a Bible verse that has helped sustain them through testing times.
Another post is by the Dean of St Albans, the Very Revd Dr Jeffrey John, who was nominated as Bishop of Reading in 2003 but was forced to withdraw because he had not concealed that he had a same-sex partner. He writes about growing up in a dysfunctional family with secrets. In his teens, he began writing “The truth will set you free” (John 8.32) in the flyleaf of his books.
“I didn’t realise at the time that in joining the Church I had swapped one dysfunctional family for another — only in the Church, the lying was mainly about being gay,” he says. “Still later, I discovered the irony that the same text is the motto of the Anglican Communion!”