‘Gay survey’ to take place within Church of England

A national survey is set to take place to reveal the number of gay clergy within the Church of England, the Guardian newspaper has reported.

The survey is being backed by the Inclusive Church network, which aims to prove that homosexuals perform an important role in the regular running of the Church body.

Canon Giles Goddard, Chair of the Inclusive Church told the Guardian: “It's very early days but we need realistic information on how many LGBT clergy there are. It's about demonstrating to people that we're here and we need to be respected and recognised. We want to play our full role in the life of the church.

“Those who are in partnerships shouldn't have to hide it. But we are not going to out anyone. Any personal information will remain confidential – we would withhold details that might reveal someone's identity, that could make them vulnerable.”

The survey will question the participants on their relationship status – whether single or in a relationship - and whether they have held a “blessing” or “thanksgiving celebration” to celebrate their ‘partnership’.

In addition, it will reveal the positions held by the gay clergymen and in which area of the country they work.

Reports state that the survey is to begin in late November 2009 and will take place over a six-month period.

The Church of England is officially against the ordination of gay clergy and the authorisation of same-sex blessings.