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Dear Justin Welby

Dear Justin Welby

Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of the Cathedral of St. Mary in Glasgow, Scotland, writing at his blog, What’s in Kelvin’s Head, tells the Archbishop of Canterbury how to solve the church’s dilemma over the place of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transexual people in the church:

Firstly, well done for naming the problem. It is good to stand up and say something unexpected to get people’s attention. Associating homophobia with bullying is really important. Lots of kids have a miserable life because of homophobic bullying and you’ve recognised that and said so more clearly than any other Archbishop of Canterbury. A resounding two cheers for you for doing so.

Two cheers? Ah, well yes. You see, you missed one particular detail. You said you’d heard Lord Alli in the House of Lords saying that 97% of gay teenagers in this country report homophobic bullying and that in the USA suicide as a result of such bullying is the principle cause of death of gay adolescents. So far, so good. What you missed out on reporting to Synod is that Stonewall’s research shows that such bullying is worse in faith schools and is not tackled as well in faith schools as it is in other schools. That makes the problem one that is sitting right at your door, with those million children in C of E care. Naming that this is a particular problem for the church is something you still need to do. But you’ve come a long way fairly quickly so we’ll just presume that you catch this detail and speak about it fairly soon, shall we?

Now, the real headache is what to do next. I guess the temptation is to set up a committee. However, let me save you some time. Committees always take forever, and I can probably give you some starting points.

Read them here.

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