Who’s Who at St Hugh? – Secret Conversations on Sexuality Come to Light

Nov 30, 2022 by

from English Churchman, at Anglican Ink:

Recent correspondence and blog posts have revealed the existence of a hitherto-secret meeting between conservative/evangelical groupings and liberal/progressive bishops, seeking to reach structural co-existence within a Church of England that permits same-sex marriages. If this is the case, then it would suggest that the Bishop Steven Croft’s recent statement Together in Faith and Love was not unexpected for some evangelical clergy within the Church of England. Indeed, it raises questions as to what extent the Bishop of Oxford’s proposal to create a separate jurisdiction for conservatives has been secretly agreed with evangelical bodies.

The meeting, called the St Hugh’s Conversations, is now being mentioned in the public domain, with a couple of participants identifying themselves.

According to the blog (shared-conversations.com) of one participant, Helen King, a lay preacher in Oxford Diocese, Bishop Steven Croft was one of those who instigated the St Hugh’s  Conversations: “It was set up about three years ago by Bishop Steven with some leaders of large local conservative Evangelical churches, Evangelical Group on General Synod (EGGS) and CEEC, and gradually seems to have expanded to include others from the conservative/traditional and the inclusive/progressive end of the C of E.”

Another member of these Conversations, Simon Butler, has written an Open Letter to Bishop Christopher Chessun of Southwark. This letter (available on ViaMedia.News) thanked the bishop for his recent address to Diocesan Synod, and how he has “quietly and often publicly affirmed the ministry of LGBT+ clergy and lay people in the diocese.”

Mr Butler, a former member of Archbishops’ Council and a member of General Synod 2005-2022, declared, “You have, in many ways, fulfilled the call we gave you in the Diocesan Statement of Needs at your appointment in relation to sexuality.”

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