More calls for Welsh church to make Jeffrey John a bishop

The clergy of another Anglican cathedral have thrown their weight behind calls for a senior gay cleric to be made a bishop in Wales.

Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans, was barred from being appointed Bishop of Llandaff despite winning more than half of the vote in the electoral body and unanimous backing from local churchgoers.

WikipediaThe Chapter of Ely Cathedral has thrown their weight behind growing calls in support of Jeffrey John

Dr John is in a long-term gay relationship with another Anglican priest and in a strongly worded open letter on Sunday claimed his sexuality was the sole reason why he was blocked.

'The only arguments adduced against my appointment – in particular by two of the bishops - were directly related to my homosexuality and/or civil partnership – namely that my appointment would bring unwelcome and unsettling publicity to the diocese, and that it might create difficulties for the future Archbishop in relation to the Anglican Communion,' he wrote in a letter to the senior Welsh bishop John Davies.

The Chapter of Ely Cathedral has now added its 'unanimous support' to the growing calls for the Welsh bishops to reconsider Dr John.

It comes after the Chapter of St Albans Cathedral, without the knowledge of their Dean Dr John, branded his treatment 'wholly wrong'.

Their statement read: 'The fact that it appears Jeffrey's sexuality and civil partnership have been used against him in the selection process is wholly wrong and it is only right that the bishops in Wales review the process before making an appointment.'

Changing Attitude Cymru, a Welsh LGBT Christian charity, has also added its voice to calls for a review after Dr John said he was told bishops were 'just too exhausted' to deal with the problems they believed his appointment would cause.

'We would be alarmed if fears about adverse publicity and reactions from other parts of the Anglican communion, in relation to questions of sexuality, have persuaded the bishops to discount his candidacy,' the pressure group said on Tuesday. 'This would be particularly unfortunate, considering that the bishops gave no indication, when calling for names to be submitted during the consultation period, that candidates already considered by the Electoral College would not be included in the bishops' new shortlist.'

The statement added: 'We are saddened that reports of alleged homophobia in the present process of the election and appointment of the next Bishop of Llandaff, is harming the progress that has been made in bringing about changing attitudes towards LGBT+ people in the Church in Wales.'

The mounting pressure was sparked after Dr John told Bishop Davies in his open letter: 'To ride roughshod of the very clearly expressed, unanimous view of a diocese in this way is extraordinary, unprecedented and foolish,' he wrote

'You decided, arbitrarily, to ignore the submissions that you had asked for, and to declare that those who were discussed at the Electoral College were now, in fact, no longer to be considered. This is a clear and ludicrous breach of process, and a further insult to the people of the diocese, and very many others who took the trouble to contribute their view.

'I trust there will now be an open and honest examination of this process in the light of day, and that you will not attempt to appoint a bishop for Llandaff until it is complete.'

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