As I see it. View from a trustee
I had a fairly ‘cosy’ piece written for this newsletter (encouraging you all to get your local churches to sign up to Inclusive Church) …and then I read the report of the Primates’ meeting!
I told Bob I couldn’t write anything because was just too angry and the amount of swearing I would include would damage I.C.’s reputation as a warm and welcoming organisation that expresses the love of Christ…
Bob told me to pull myself together and try…
So here is my very personal response to the Primates gathering. I don’t speak for inclusive church (it’s difficult to speak for inclusive church because by our very nature we carry with us a wide diversity of opinion) I just speak for myself.
My first question is, why didn’t the Episcopal Church in America threaten to walk away if the rest of the Communion didn’t start agreeing with it?
It’s unthinkable! The other Archbishops would have been horrified at such appalling behaviour and none of them would have even considered changing their policy on marriage for the sake of unity.
It is beyond my comprehension that the Archbishops could sanction (in practice, if not in name) America while allowing Churches that condone the criminalisation of homosexuality to continue in full and equal fellowship. History will judge this decision very harshly: the Labour shadow cabinet minister, Chris Bryant, publicly left the Church saying its stance on homosexually would one day look as wrong as supporting slavery. For years liberal and inclusive Christians have silently and sadly walked away, we need the Archbishops to hear the voice of the lost generation.
My second question is why does there have to be international agreement on Equal Marriage? We did not seek it for women priests or women bishops, we changed our liturgy and our policy on divorce without the approval of the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Church can make up its own mind in America (or Canada or New Zealand or Scotland or England or Nigeria…)
I have decided to message the archbishop every day to ask him to resign. This is NOT the view of Inclusive Church, it is my opinion as an individual within it. Once again the Archbishops have asked LGBT Christians, and those who support Equal Marriage to make the sacrifice for unity, if the Archbishop was sincere in his “apology” he would share in the sacrifice and stand down.
I think we inclusive Christians have been too tentative and apologetic and gentle in our approach. The time for Anglican politeness has passed. In love, out of a response to Christ’s limitless love, we should celebrate the love of same sex couples in our churches. Sadly, weddings are not yet possible, but if all the churches (like mine) who offer blessings were to stand up and be counted the Archbishop would have to rethink his position, the Church of England should be sanctioned alongside our American sisters and brothers.
Trevor Donnelly Inclusive Church Trustee
The Church of the Ascension, Blackheath