The Very Rev David Ison, the recently appointed Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral in London has said that the church should welcome gay people wanting to take on the virtues of marriage.
“We need to take seriously people’s desire for partnership and make sure that the virtues that you see in married relationships are available to people who are gay.” he said in an interview with The Times newspaper today.
David Ison is preparing to move to London from Yorkshire where he has been Dean of Bradford Cathedral for 7 years. He trained for ordination at an evangelical theological college, St John’s Nottingham, and in the 1980’s he spent 3 years training evangelists at the Church Army Training College.
Reflecting on marriage he said, “As a Christian who is committed to marriage, I would say that for people to take on board, in their relationships, a commitment to lifelong chastity and being together is actually the best way to flourish… whether you are gay or straight.”
His comments come in stark contrast to statements by the Archbishop of York and Roman Catholic leaders who have called the idea grotesque and compared the prospect of same-sex marriage to legalising slavery.
But he is the latest in a growing line of Anglican Church leaders who have been expressing support for a new direction in recent weeks. The Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam told the Times last month that although he used to believe that marriage could only be for heterosexuals, he was no longer convinced about that. Then yesterday the retired Bishop of Oxford, Lord Harries, called on the church to move ahead with blessing for Civil Partnerships.
The Trustees of Accepting Evangelicals are discussing our approach to same-sex marriage at the moment. We are aware that within our membership there will be a wide spectrum of views, and we want to ensure that Accepting Evangelicals remains a place that unites evangelicals who want to see the church move forward in recognising same-sex partnerships and developing a positive Christian ethic for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
Why not drop us a line and let us know what you think, either by email or as a comment on this Blog?