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Thursday, 26 April 2018

Just one more time?

The Very Rev Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans                                                            Source: Premier

It has been announced that the Very Rev Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans and high profile advocate of normalising homosexuality in the church is one of two gay priests to be shortlisted to become bishops in the Scottish Episcopal Church. 

Pundits speculated that Llandaff was Jeffrey John's last hope of preferment. He is 65. He lost out to June Osborne who was appointed by the bench of bishops, may God forgive them. 

The Church in Wales now has two female bishops committed to so-called gender equality and normalising homosexuality which is designed to make the many homosexual clergy appear acceptable regardless of scripture and tradition.

Jeffrey John is an amiable fellow in a celibate civil partnership but his views on homosexuality and faith have caused much distress, not least with his Out 4 Marriage video. He also came in for some well deserved criticism over his claim that Jesus healed the Centurion's "gay lover", refuted here.

The Scottish Episcopal Church has followed the lead of the US Episcopal Church on gay marriage with the appointment of Canon Anne Dyer, the first female bishop in the SEC. Canon Dyer is "strongly in favour" of gay marriage.

With two gay priests on shortlists to become bishops the slide continues.

Update [04.06.2018]

The Very Rev Andrew Swift has been elected as the new bishop of Brechin. 


  1. Surely with a paltry one wimbishop out of 7, it must be another or the very highlands will cry out. Again with equalities sake only on in 60 need be a gay, and perchance on of the other six is, so let's hope he's thwarted for the 4th/5th? time.

  2. So, Ancient Briton - who would you have preferred for Llandaff were it a clear choice between June or Jeffrey?

    1. A choice between the lesser of two evils is no choice at all Father, not in terms of our Baptismal vows where we pledge or have pledged for us to "Fight the good fight' unto our life's end. Macho and non trans I know but look where the alternative has landed us !

    2. Neither.
      Philip North would have been the man for the job of draining the overflowing Llandaff septic tank.

    3. Here here Zadok - good call.

    4. The lesser of two weevils is still a weevil!

    5. PP. Phillip North an excellent cleric would never have been elected in Wales, he is far too conservative, theologically sound and experience.

  3. Such a choice serves only to illustrate how far the Church in Wales has departed from the Apostolic faith of the Holy Catholic Church Fr David.

  4. Athelston Riley27 April 2018 at 09:03

    This is a genuinely concerned (i.e. non-carping) comment, and I am taking the risk of posting it because I think there are some serious issues around, not least the pastoral care of those who serve in the ordained ministry.

    Like June Osborne, Jeffrey John clearly believes he is called to be a bishop. He clearly wants more than anything to be a bishop. Like June, he has sensed frustration and all kinds of shenanigans at work in the structures of the Church of England that have prevented him becoming a bishop in the Church of England. Also, like June, he is taking every opportunity thrown his way, even when it means giving up being Dean of a well-resourced English Cathedral and moving to a place with which he has only tenuous connections. That the Church discerned that Jeffrey was not the best person to be Bishop of Exeter, St Edmundsbury, Southwark or Llandaff seems to suggest that the Church's discernment of Jeffrey's vocation doesn't quite square with his own (whatever individual friends and supporters may be telling him - and whatever political shenanigans were at play, particularly in the Llandaff electoral college). That sexual orientation became a factor for Llandaff is, frankly, utter hypocrisy. As we all know, Jeffrey would not have been the first partnered gay Bishop of Llandaff in living memory. The difference is, Jeffrey was transparent about his situation; and does not present to be a 'traditionalist' whilst living differently under the radar.

    What happens if he is not elected as Bishop Brechin? What will the effect of more disappointment and (however it is couched) rejection be on a gifted priest who is a robust advocate for the Christian faith and has been truthful to a fault (unlike your former golfing Archbishop and Shirley Whats-is-Name who succeeded him)? If he is not elected, I am dubious as to how the Church will support him so that he continues to be energised and focused in his ministry, and the people of God are nourished in their call to discipleship. After all, most of us are merely human. Repeated disappointments on this scale, not to mention the public exposure, can have a seriously diminishing impact. At times, it is positively toxic.

    As a Catholic I have always believed that the Church is much bigger than me, or my own personal needs and convictions, which is why the Barry Morgan agenda was so gruesome to watch, especially when other gifted people, like Janet Henderson and many others, were treated as if they were dispensable. I also believe the Church should be big (i.e. generous) enough to care properly for those who are called to serve in its ministry - not least by supporting people to discern what their call is in a context of affirmation as well as a fearlessly truthful focus on the reality of the moment.

    Discerning whether this is the 'moment' that Jeffrey John is being called to exercise episcopal ministry is no enviable task. Whatever the outcome (and whatever the Scottish Episcopal Church's tendency to look self-consciously over its shoulder at The States - which it does for historical reasons), can we remember that there are human beings, like each one of us, caught up in this process? None of us, in our right mind, wants to be the subject of mindless slogans, misleading headlines and the kind of barbed comment that has no place in 'One holy catholic and apostolic Church.'

    1. Regardless of his personal aspirations and desires to take the purple, maybe it's just time Jeffrey accepted that the Holy Ghost might have other plans for him, possibly a quiet obscure retirement?

      The Church in Wales has not been a Holy, Catholic or Apostolic Church for a couple of decades and there has been no place there for traditionalists for as long. Thousands and thousands have been abandoned by their "church" and subjected to outright abuse, verbal and written, disappointments and positively toxic clergy.

    2. PP. This comment is so true. I agree wholeheartedly with it sentiment. Sadly we do forget that discernment is key to any office in the Church, but fail to understand that human beings are fickle and as such, when our own disappointment is further compounded by others views, be they friend, foe or media. The pain even greater.
      Therefore, supporting those who are not selected for any office, or passed over several times needs careful pastoral care, otherwise, bitterness clouds the ministry of those not selected.
      The Church has never been good at pastoral care of its clergy.
      Other denominations have training for those seen able for higher office, where discernment of calling and gifts go hand in hand perhaps this is the way forward.

  5. Proctor in Convocation27 April 2018 at 12:11

    Here, here, Athelston Riley. A balanced and incisive critique. And, yes, there is too much 'double-speak' about sexuality from the traditionalist catholic stable, where the rhetoric does not always match the reality behind the presbytery door (or bedroom curtains) - and let's not forget that Barry Morgan was just as adept at sweeping it under the carpet as anyone else, when it suited him!

  6. And now the Scottish Tory leader, ex kick boxer Ruth Davidson, a lesbian, has made herself pregnant by IVF and the prime minister, a priest's daughter,congratulated her fulsomely.There was a time when she would have been sacked!