Bishop welcomes same-sex marriages in Christmas message

By staff writers
December 27, 2014

The Anglican Bishop of Buckingham, the Rt Rev Dr Alan Wilson, has recorded a Christmas video message for the LGBTI community in which he congratulates newly-married same-sex couples.

Dr Wilson, an area bishop in the Diocese of Oxford, is a well-known 'internet bishop' and polymath with a wide range of contemporary and theological concerns.

He says in his video: “Christians believe God is love and those who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. But, you may say, churches have a funny way of showing that sometimes. We still have a legacy of serious institutional homophobia, inertia and ignorance to overcome. The fact is, however, where people dare to think things could be different, think things through without prejudice, there is hope.

“Some gay clergy are now married. In very few years people will wonder what the fuss was all about. But for now it’s a path that calls for considerable courage and determination. So please spare a thought this Christmas for them. If you’re the praying sort, do remember LGBTI people searching for hope at home in those churches that just don’t get equality.

“There is hope – I notice a new generation of evangelical Christians rethinking the implications of their faith in a far more truthful, just and generous way. At the same time, around the world, there are many places that are anything but safe for gay people.

“A Ugandan Member of Parliament is promising to bring back the notorious ant-gay bill that fell over this Autumn. He calls it his Christmas gift to Ugandans – very much the sort of present you can do without. Wouldn’t peace on earth and goodwill to everybody be far more appropriate?

“But Christmas is Christmas. Love came down at Christmas, and the nativity story takes us back to the heart of everything. The miracle. The beauty of every human life is a Gift of God deserving total respect full of hope. Happy Christmas.”

Dr Wilson also spoke at the PinkNews Awards gala dinner this year, held in honour of the Human Dignity Trust.

He expressed shame at the way the Church of England has treated LGBTI people, and committed himself to work for change.

To date the church has a legacy of serious institutional homophobia, admitted the Bishop of Buckingham.

The Rt Rev Alan Wilson has been the area Bishop of Buckingham since 2003. He has a long-standing interest in human rights and equality.

His latest book is More Perfect Union: Understanding Same-Sex Christian Marriage, published in September 2014 by Darton, Longman and Todd.

* Watch the full video of Bishop Alan Wilson here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JXAciTJi7s

* Pink News: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/

* Bishop Alan's blog: http://bishopalan.blogspot.co.uk

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