Leading gay cleric Jeffrey John left off shortlist to be bishop

Gay cleric Jeffrey John is not on the new shortlist to be next Bishop of Llandaff, a source has confirmed to Christian Today.

Very Rev Jeffrey John narrowly missed out on being appointed bishop first time round despite winning support from more than half of the selection body, Christian Today revealed.

The current Dean of St Albans has strong support in the area but failed to win the two-thirds of votes needed in the electoral college.

Now the leading figure, who has previously been turned down for senior roles over his sexuality, has been left off a new shortlist drawn up by bishops.

Dr. Jeffrey John poses outside St Albans Cathedral, where he is currently Dean.

The Church in Wales has announced a panel of bishops would make the decision 'as soon as all necessary formalities are finalised'.

It comes after the electoral college of 47 people, made up representatives from each diocese and all the senior bishops, failed to agree on any candidate.

Neither the Church in Wales nor the Church of England are opposed to clergy being in civil partnerships. The Church of England requests that clergy in civil partnerships vow to remain sexually chaste, but the Church in Wales has no such restriction.

Despite this Christian Today understands Dr John's long-term civil partnership with Grant Holmes, another Anglican priest, was a factor in his rejection by traditionalists.

Dr John was nominated to be Bishop of Reading in 2003 but was forced to withdraw under intense pressure from conservatives.

Later he was in the running for Bishop of Bangor in 2008 and then again for Bishop of Southwark in 2010 but was both times turned down with opponents threatening a split in the Church.

His latest rejection to be Bishop of Llandaff is particularly notable because of support he received from local clergy and parishioners in the largely liberal diocese.

The Bench of Bishops will now meet with all shortlisted candidates before reaching a verdict.

The Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, John Davies, said: 'We received a wide variety of responses to the consultation and heard from a particularly large number of people suggesting possible candidates.

'We have now considered those responses and, after a lengthy but productive meeting, we are ready to move to the next stage in the appointment process.'

A Church in Wales spokeswoman declined to comment on any names on the shortlist.

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