Bishop opposes gay blessings

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The Bishop of Lichfield has expressed concern at plans for a gay and bisexual church service

According to the BBC, he said he wished an event publicised in the diocese newspaper to devise services for gay and bisexual people was not happening. The newspaper said the Lichfield branch of Changing Attitude, who campaign for lesbian and gay affirmation in the Anglican Church, is holding an event called Liturgies for Love.

Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill insisted that the House of Bishops demand no priests should take such services of blessing.

Diocese spokesman Gavin Drake told the BBC: “The Bishop would prefer it if this event wasn’t happening. “The clergy cannot go around writing their own liturgies, particularly on sensitive issues like this.”

Last month the Bishop met representatives of Changing Attitude, he said: “I made it quite clear that the Church of England welcomes people of all sorts and conditions and makes no distinction between people on the grounds of sexual orientation.”

“Equally however the Church of England is committed in all its recent statements to the biblical teaching which says that sexual activity belongs properly within the marriage of a man and a woman for life.”

“The House of Bishops’ Pastoral Statement on Civil Partnerships makes it clear that there could be no provision of any kind of liturgy by dioceses and directed that no priest should take any kind of official service of blessing for any such occasion.”