Church of England General Synod member reported to police over alleged hate crime
A member of the Church of England General Synod has been reported to West Midlands Police after allegedly causing offence with tweets about queer theory and the sexualisation and grooming of children.
Sam Margrave was reported by the Bishop of Coventry after a number of complaints were made about the posts.
The Diocese of Coventry said in a statement: "The offence caused is a matter of deep regret.
"We are extremely sorry when an individual makes comments that fall short of the social media guidelines published by the Church of England and fails to behave in a way fitting of their office as a member of Synod.
"We continue to take all the appropriate action available to us, including reporting the matter to external agencies and are working to introduce a Code of Conduct with sanctions for non-compliance to our own Synod.
"We have not taken these actions lightly and have only done so in view of the sheer number of complaints received from third parties, and only after other avenues have been exhausted, including repeated offers of support to the individual concerned."
Mr Margrave is an outspoken critic of the highly sexualised nature of many Pride events, believing them to be harmful to children. Last year, he put forward a Private Members' Motion asking Synod to declare Pride "incompatible with the Christian faith".
He claims to have received abuse and death threats since, but has denied accusations by LGBT critics that he called gay people paedophiles.
Christian Concern, which is supporting Mr Margrave, said that although no further action has been taken to date by police, he is concerned that a 'non-crime hate incident' may have been recorded against his name.
He said in a statement shared by Christian Concern: "I am shocked, appalled and deeply hurt that the bishop and diocese has resorted to reporting me to the police and has essentially thrown me under the bus.
"For standing against the sexualisation of children and the secularisation of the CofE, I have been repeatedly harassed and threatened. The impact on my well-being has been immense and the people in the Church who should be supporting me the most have closed ranks against me."
He continued, "All I have wanted was to protect children and give a voice to parents by standing against the sexualisation and grooming of children, which was part of the manifesto I was elected on.
"I don't hate anyone, this is not about hate, it has always been about truth and bringing positive change to the CofE."
West Midlands Police said in a statement: "On the 24 June 2022 we began an investigation into an alleged online hate crime.
"We made several attempts to speak to the author of a tweet connected to the investigation. We finally spoke to that person in October 2022.
"After reviewing the case and after speaking to all parties, the case has now been closed with no further action to be taken."