Senior Anglicans urge Church of England to ‘repent’ for treatment of gays

An open letter signed by over a hundred senior Anglicans urges the Church of England to “repent” for its treatment of gay and lesbian people.

The letter, which is addressed to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, comes before a meeting of 38 primates from the global Anglican Communion.

The letter says LGBT Christians have been treated as “second-class citizens”, and that the Church of England must acknowledge that.

According to the Bishop of Buckingham, various cathedral deans are among the letter’s 105 signatories.

It says the Archbishops should “take an unequivocal message” to the meeting, and that they should admit that they “failed in our duty of care” to LGBT Christians.

Going further it says the Church should “apologise for our part in perpetuating rather than challenging ill-informed beliefs”.

It continues: “We understand that the primates come from a variety of contexts with differing ways of interpreting the scriptures, but we urge you to be prophetic in your action.”

The global Anglican Communion is expected to last a week, and begins on Monday.

The director of Accepting Evangelicals Jayne Ozanne organised the letter, who told the BBC a “line” had been reached.

“It was time to stand tall and actually call the Church back to its roots to reminding them about the fact that we are there to welcome and serve all,” she said.

“We have not treated the gay community as equal members. We’ve actually vilified them.”

Bishop of Leeds Nick Baines also told the BBC that “There should be no place for homophobia in the Church or anywhere else.”