WATCH: Bishop condemns Church treatment of gays in Christmas sermon

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A Church of England Bishop has delivered a sermon in which he condemns the church for its treatment of gay people.

The Bishop of Buckingham, the Rt Rev Dr Alan Wilson has recorded a Christmas sermon for the LGBT community in which he congratulates all same-sex couples who have married or converted their civil partnerships to marriage this year, and condemns the Church of England for its treatment of gay people.

He says: “Christians believe God is love and those who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. But, you may say, churches have a funny way of showing that sometimes. We still have a legacy of serious institutional homophobia, inertia and ignorance to overcome. The fact is, however, where people dare to think things could be different, think things through without prejudice, there is hope.

“Some gay clergy are now married. In very few years people will wonder what the fuss was all about. But for now it’s a path that calls for considerable courage and determination. So please spare a thought this Christmas for them. If you’re the praying sort, do remember LGBTI people searching for hope at home in those churches that just don’t get equality.

“There is hope – I notice a new generation of evangelical Christians rethinking the implications of their faith in a far more truthful, just and generous way. At the same time, around the world, there are many places that are anything but safe for gay people.

“A Ugandan Member of Parliament is promising to bring back the notorious ant-gay bill that fell over this Autumn. He calls it his Christmas gift to Ugandans – very much the sort of present you can do without. Wouldn’t peace on earth and goodwill to everybody be far more appropriate?

“But Christmas is Christmas. Love came down at Christmas, and the nativity story takes us back to the heart of everything. The miracle. The beauty of every human life is a Gift of God deserving total respect full of hope. Happy Christmas.”

The Bishop of Buckingham said grace at the PinkNews Awards earlier this year, and said he was “ashamed” at the way gay people have been treated by the Church of England.

The Rt Rev Dr Alan Wilson, spoke at the PinkNews Awards gala dinner, which was held in honour of the Human Dignity Trust.

He made a promise “that the faith communities of this country will be very much more part of the solution than the problem.”