Ruth Gledhill: Rowan Williams celebrates ‘secret’ gay communion service

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, today presided at a 'secret' eucharist for the Clergy Consultation, as we reported that he would back in September. He gave a talk on 'present realities and future possibilities for lesbians and gay men in the church.' The venue, originally at St Peter's Eaton Square, was switched to another location in London to avoid media attention after new of the meeting emerged first on the Church Society website.

The Clergy Consultation, which has between 250 and 450 members at any one time, was set up in 1976 by three Anglican priests, Malcolm Johnson, Peter Ellers and Douglas Rhymes. Changing Attitude has an interesting paper setting out a theology of sexual ethics around which members of the consultation work today. Many consultation members are married, one with six children, and are faithful to their partners. The organisation helps them cope with staying faithful to what they regard as a Christian lifestyle while dealing with a sexuality that sometimes does not emerge until later in life. Some members but by no means all are 'out' as openly gay but it is not difficult to understand why, in today's Church, most prefer to remain 'in'.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, views his taking part in the meeting and celebrating the eucharist as part of the 'listening process' outlined in Lambeth 1.10. A spokeswoman said: 'The Archbishop of Canterbury is committed to the listening process which was agreed at the Lambeth Conference as part of the discussions on human sexuality. That means listening to and engaging with gay and lesbian clergy in a pastorally sensitive setting. That is what he is doing.'

Read it all.

I will consider posting comments on this article submitted first by email to Kendall’s E-mail: KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Lambeth 2008

Posted November 29, 2007 at 2:33 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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