Dean of St Albans shortlisted to become first out Bishop

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The Dean of St Albans, Dr Jeffrey John, who is the Church of England’s most senior out cleric, has now been shortlisted to become a Diocesan Bishop.

The Dean has been shortlist for the next Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, according to Christian Today.

It is understood that the former Bishop Nigel Stock, is now Bishop at Lambeth. and is working closely with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

Although he is in a civil partnership with the Reverend Grant Holmes, Dr John is understood to live by the Church’s guidance, which is that gay clergy should remain celibate.

Dr John wrote for PinkNews in March that same-sex couples wishing to marry “have God’s blessing already”.

Back in January 2012, Dr John threatened to sue the Church of England unless it promoted him to bishop.

The 60-year-old was forced to give up his appointment as Bishop of Reading in 2003 due to his sexuality and was blocked from the post Bishop of Southwark in 2010.

Dr Jeffrey John was tipped for the position of Bishop of Durham in May 2013, although the Church denied this was the case.

The position, made vacant by the appointment of Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, went to Paul Butler.

Speaking in an Out4Marriage video last year, Dr John said: “If you are gay, then please understand that God made you as you are, and loves you as you are, and if you invite Him into your relationship, then of course He will bless you and sustain your love just as much as He blesses and sustains any other marriage.”

A decision by the House of Bishops, which has banned gay clergy from marrying.