Anglicans must support each other even if they have different views – Bishop of London

Jul 12, 2021 by

by Julian Mann, Christian Today:

The Bishop of London has said the Church of England should be a safe space for people with opposing theological views on the issues of marriage, gender and sexuality.

Bishop Sarah Mullally’s comments were heard during a session at the General Synod looking at these issues.

Synod also heard from LGBT activist Jayne Ozanne who accused conservative Anglicans on General Synod of “transphobic and homophobic rhetoric”.

Ms Ozanne, a Synod member for Oxford Diocese and former government adviser on LGBT issues, made her remarks during the question time after a presentation on the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) suite of resources on sexuality, gender identity, relationships and marriage.

The LLF resources, including videos, were published last November to prompt discussions across the Church of England on these issues.

Ms Ozanne told the bishop, who was leading the ‘Passing the Baton’ session on LLF on the second day of the July Synod: “The LGBT community feel they are constantly being asked to love those who are abusing them and that in itself is abusive.

“There is transphobic and homophobic rhetoric even in these questions coming from people, which we are not even allowed to call transphobic and homophobic.

“I would remind people of what the definition of that is. It is views that are seen as transphobic by the person they are aimed at.”

Bishop Mullally replied: “I do agree with you that we have a long way to go to create an environment where we treat each other better.

“I do believe that we need to create a culture which is not racist, is not homophobic, is not transphobic and does not discriminate against women and we do that in an environment where we have a range of different theological beliefs because that is the nature of the Church of England.”

In a question before Ms Ozanne’s, Dr Ian Paul, a traditionalist and Synod member for Southwell and Nottingham Diocese, asked: “Do you think it is at all helpful or permissible for members of this Synod to describe voices in the videos on LLF as transphobic to seek to silence them?”

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