It’s five days since top Christian singer Vicky Beeching came out as gay. Evangelical Christianity in Britain is still shaking with the impact of this earthquake, whose effects will be felt for years and probably decades.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games brought moments of sporting glory, and a grand finale with Lulu, Kylie Minogue and Deacon Blue, to Glasgow. It also brought protests exposing the gap between Commonwealth ideals and reality in many member countries.
The Church of England’s general synod has given the go-ahead for women to be bishops. The move won the required minimum of two-thirds of votes among bishops and both lay and clergy representatives at the gathering in York. (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/20648) For some synod votes, the three ‘houses’ vote separately and a simple majority is not enough.
The hundreds of thousands of public sector workers who joined marches, pickets lines and rallies across England and Wales on 10 July have cast into sharp relief the attitudes of those who would divide us, those who cannot see past their own narrow interests and those who have – to varying degrees – an awareness of the qualities of interrelation, solidarity and the common good which are integral to the civilised functioning of complex modern societies.
A Church of England bishop has refused a licence to Jeremy Pemberton, a hospital chaplain, because he married his partner Laurence Cunnington. This may prevent him from taking up a new job closer to his home. This has further strained church’s leaders’ already tense relationship with those seeking greater inclusion.
Clergy and laypersons should not get into trouble for marrying their same-sex partners, the Methodist Church in Britain agreed. For the time being, only opposite-sex couples will be allowed to marry in church. But a two-year period of study and discussion will examine whether this should change.
This week, I've seen two movements that I love become sullied by complicity with the arms trade.
First, Church House (a leading Christian conference centre) hosted a gathering of arms dealers and generals. Now, London LGBT Pride are about to allow a section of this week's march to be used to publicise a company that is complicit in homophobia– and other human rights abuses – around the world.