‘Reform’ and The Real World of Anglicanism

Reform unequivocally supports Hull vicar
We reported previously on the statement issued by the Archbishop of York in response to the remarks of a vicar in Hull.

Reform has issued this website comment, supporting the vicar and criticising York Minster:

As the Steering Group of Reform met last week, the events surrounding the blessing of the Gay Pride march in York could not be ignored.

Whilst the Reform Steering Group stands opposed to homophobia, nevertheless they were unanimously of the view that it was an offense to all bible-believing Christians for the Minster to endorse, without qualification, the activities of York Pride with the intention of “affirming the LGBT community”.

They appreciated the Archbishop of York’s statement affirming the “traditional Christian understanding of human sexuality, orientation, and behavior” and agreed with him that God loves and values all people, whatever their sexual orientation, and that that same love should be shown by Christians. They hope that the Archbishop of York is prepared to stand by the whole of Lambeth Resolution 1.10, which rejects “homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture” and the Dromantine Conference of Anglican Communion Primates Communiqué which affirms this teaching.

Susie Leafe, Director of Reform, said “We long for all churches to model Jesus Christ’s welcome to all people – a welcome that loves us enough not only to walk with us in self-sacrificial love but also to warn us of God’s judgment and call us to repent of our rejection of God’s ways.”

They therefore wish to express their unequivocal support for the stand that Rev Melvin Tinker, a founder member of Reform, has taken and they applaud his courage in being prepared to speak graciously and clearly of the Church’s responsibility to teach and act according to biblical principles.

The Archbishop of Canterbury proposes to consecrate the Chair of Reform, The Reverend Rod Thomas, as Bishop of Maidstone at a service in Canterbury Cathedral on 23 September.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento (Thinking Anglicans) on Thursday, 9 July 2015


Thanks to my brother-in-law’s computer set-up, in Fetcham, England, I am now able – for the first time on holiday – to access the Internet to publish articles on my ‘kiwianglo‘ web-site.

This piece, by Simon Sarmiento, of ‘Thinking Anglicans’, demonstrates the inertia of the so-called ‘Reform’ (conservative evangelical) minority group in the Church of England, which has recently criticised the initiative of the clergy of York Minster, who welcomed the local Gay Parade in that city.

The really sad thing about this enclave of conservatism in the Church of England is that their leader, the Revd Rod Thomas. is about to be ordained a bishop in the Church by none other than the Archbishop in Canterbury. Justin Welby, in his cathedral on September 23rd. This fact – together with the Archbishop’s recent castigation of TEC for its endeavours in the direction of affirming the recognition of faithful Same-Sex relationships in that Church – would seem to signal the further entrenchment of homophobia in the Mother Church of the world-wide Anglican Communion.

This is becoming a situation where the more liberal provinces of the Anglican Communion may want to dissociate themselves from formal association with the Canterbury Province, which seems to be falling into line with the demands of conservative Gafcon provinces in their collusion with repressive governments determined to persecute LGBT people in their own countries and (by association) in the local church.

The paragraph in the above article (highlighted, by me)  shows the extent to which Reform leaders are intent on emphasizing what they have determined is God’s anger against Gay people; rather than trying to understand that the modern world outside of the Church has rejected endemic sexism and homophobia, in favour of welcoming the difference that this minority offer to society, in common with the understanding of women as being equal to the male of the species.

Homophobia – despite the Church’s attempts to deny its presence in the Church – is still alive and well in those parts of the Church that still reject Gay people on account of their in-built, God-given sexual orientation. Unfortunately, Reform and Gafcon are not yet reconciled to this eirenic point of view. Nor are the Church of England Archbishops seen, by the rest of us in the Communion, to have fully recognised the need of the Church to provide the right and proper moral leadership that will ensure the safety and acceptance of LGBT people in Church and society.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand (from the U.K.)

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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