Bishop helps to launch new gay group
A bishop is giving his support to lesbian and gay equality in the Church of England, by helping to launch a new gay Christian group in his diocese.
The Rt Rev Richard Lewis, Bishop of the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, will launch the group when he is the keynote speaker at a new branch of Changing Attitude.
Changing Attitude is a worldwide group that works for gay and lesbian affirmation within the Anglican communion and Bishop Richard is one of the organisation's 13 episcopal patrons.
Its goal is to create a church which "fully accepts, welcomes and offers equality of opportunity to lesbian, gay and bisexual people."
A spokesman for the bishop told a local newspaper: 'This is a subject that is close to his heart. Lesbian and gay Christians have made, and will continue to make, an important contribution to the work of the Church.
'As patron of the Changing Attitude group he is delighted that Suffolk is launching its own branch, adding to the 22 already in existence" the East Anglian Daily Times was told.
'The fact that Changing Attitudes is operational in itself means that it has already helped people to believe that they are not alone, and not excluded.'
One of the meeting's organisers is the Rev Andrew Dotchin, vicar of Whitton church, Ipswich, who said: 'Many Christians are unhappy about the way lesbian and gay people are treated by society and some parts of the Church.
'The aim of our group is to provide support and comfort for lesbian and gay people and their family and friends.
'We also offer resources to help people explore the relationship between the scriptures, the Church and people of varied sexual orientations.
'Just getting this far and organising a first meeting has already helped so many people realise they are not alone and that they have friends and supporters within the Church.'