Canon John urges love for opponents
Canon Jeffrey John, who was forced to step down as Bishop of Reading, has appealed to friends and supporters to keep studying the bible and respond with love to those who opposed his appointment.
Breaking his silence for the first time since withdrawing his nomination, Canon John said that many people had told him they were tempted to quit the Church in disgust at his treatment.
"That is a reaction I understand all too well, but it is not the way," he said in a letter to the Reading Chronicle.
"We have to keep praying, keep making our communion, keep studying the scriptures, keep loving those who hurt and reject us.î
"Love wins in the end, and if we are faithful, in the end we will build a Church that looks more like Jesus."
The Canon also spoke of the huge support he had received from Christians in the diocese and beyond.
"I have received an impression of the great majority of Reading Christians as instinctively fair, welcoming, accepting and willing to give a stranger (even one with a gay label) a chance to prove himself. ì he said.
Speculation about his future has been growing since rumours surfaced that he might be nominated for a bishopric in the more liberal Anglican Church of Scotland.
Friends believe, however, that he is most likely to remain in his present post of Chancellor and Theologian at Southwark Cathedral.