Gay London priest pledges ‘no surrender’ on equality after election to Church’s governing body

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

A London priest who defied rules by marrying his same-sex partner has been elected to the Church of England’s General Synod.

Ahead of the UK’s first same-sex weddings, the Church of England banned gay clergy from marrying their partners – but a number of clergy defied the rules.

Popular London vicar Rev Andrew Foreshew-Cain defied the Church’s rules last year by marrying his husband Steve – after Canon Jeremy Pemberton faced punitive action from the Church for tying the knot with his husband.

In a bid to challenge the Church of England’s approach to LGBT issues, this month both the clergymen put themselves forward to sit on the Church’s governing body, the General Synod.

The General Synod is responsible for formulating the Church’s approach to issues, and consists of a House of Bishops and elected Houses of Clergy and Laity.

Today, it was revealed that Rev Foreshew-Cain was successful in his bid to represent London clergy – though Canon Pemberton lost out in Lincoln.

Rev Foreshew-Cain tweeted: “OK. Having been in shock I am now realising I have been elected to General @synod of the CofE. Feeling daunted, elated & ready. NO SURRENDER.

“And thank you to all those who voted for me and the other progressive candidates. There is hope for a kinder, more compassionate Church.”

Referencing opposition from hardline anti-LGBT evangelical group Christian Concern, he joked: “My election has not pleased ‘Christian’ Concern, who object to my ‘ongoing activism’ but theirs is OK, apparently.”

Andrea Williams of Christian Concern ranted: “Andrew Cain’s ongoing activism should no longer be tolerated. His actions are designed to undermine the church and her teaching on marriage.

“This result should not be recognised and he should be swiftly removed from church leadership.”