In recent years, Britain has slowly begun to wake up to the reality of sexual abuse. The Jimmy Saville scandal triggered shocking revelations about abuse carried out by respected entertainers in the 1970s and 80s. Child abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church have been followed by increased reports of similar outrages in the Church of England. Only this week, it was revealed that the Scout Association had paid out thousands to settle legal cases brought by survivors of sexual abuse.
On 10-11 April 2015, Christians will gather in Waterloo for Open Church, a conference on ‘The church, sexuality, mission and the future’. It will be held against a background of increasing debate in evangelical circles on sexual ethics.
Three days after returning from Greenbelt, I've had some time to process my impressions of this year's festival. I've realised that the main division at Greenbelt - a leading Christian festival - is not between liberals and conservatives but between liberals and radicals.
Vicky Beeching's decision to come out publicly as a lesbian is so important because she is such a prominent figure in evangelical circles. As I mentioned on this blog yesterday (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/20744), there is good evidence that the news has given many other gay Christians the confidence to come out.