The Church of England has appointed a new Bishop who says the institution must do more to reach out to LGBT Christians.
It was announced this week that Rev. Vivienne Faull, who is currently Dean of York, would become the next Bishop of Bristol. She is the fifteenth woman to be made a bishop since the ban on female Bishops was lifted in 2015.
Faull said: “It was 24 years ago that Bristol was the first diocese to ordain women as priests, and I want the diocese to continue to show that pioneering courage. “I look forward to leading a church that shows the love of Christ to everyone, whoever they are.”
Christian Today notes that Faull is an outspoken supporter of LGBT-inclusive Christianity, who has previously criticised the Church’s “dreadful” stance on gay unions.
The Church does not permit members of the clergy to perform or bless same-sex weddings, though they are permitted to carry out informal prayers.
Speaking to the Radio Times in 2014, she said: “That’s a very, very significant change [on LGBT issues] and I’m not sure the House of Bishops has quite got that. “It’s very difficult for leaders of organisations to be right in touch with how fast things are changing in the country.” She said: “The blessing of a gay relationship is not theologically a problem for me personally, but I’m under the discipline of the Church and I keep the rules.
“[But] when people have come to me in the past and said, ‘We’re looking for a way of celebrating our civil partnership, how shall we do it?’, we’ve found ways of doing it.” She added of the Church’s ban on gay blessings: “I’m getting approached by young people of the same gender planning their marriages. “They understand in their heads what the Church’s position is, but they no longer understand in their hearts.
“It’s driving people away and that’s dreadful.”
Faull joins a number of other Bishops who believe in reform on the issue.