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The Rt Rev Derek Rawcliffe OBE (8 July 1921 – 1 February 2011) was an English clergyman and author. He served as Anglican Bishop of the New Hebrides and Episcopalian Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway. He was the first bishop in the Church of England to announce that he was gay, after disclosing his sexuality on television in 1995. He discussed his sexual orientation in a BBC interview following a statement by Anglican Cardinal Basil Hume condemning discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Rawcliffe's superiors in the church were supportive. The Bishop of Ripon, the Rt. Reverend David Young, said in an interview to Press Agence on March 8, 1995: "I do not regret his appointment. I have made it clear that clergy who are homosexual are amongst the best of our clergy. It is possible to argue that because of their orientation they have gifts which heterosexual clergy do not have."

He was born in Manchester, the son of a tobacconist, on 8 July 1921, brought up in Gloucester, educated at Leeds University, and ordained in 1944. After a curacy at Claines St George, Worcester he was a teacher in the Solomon Islands until 1953 when he became Archdeacon of Southern Melanesia and the New Hebrides. He was the first Bishop of the New Hebrides from 1975 to 1980 when he was translated to Glasgow and Galloway, in the Scottish Episcopal Church. He retired in 1991.

Rawcliffe died on 1 February 2011 at the age of 89.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Rawcliffe

Further Readings:

Scarlet Ribbons: A Priest With AIDS by Rosemary Bailey
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Serpent's Tail (September 1, 2000)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1852425210
ISBN-13: 978-1852425210
Amazon: Scarlet Ribbons: A Priest With AIDS

In January 1995, Simon Bailey, vicar of Dinnington, South Yorkshire, a traditional mining village, announced that he was dying of AIDS on a BBC "Everyman" programme, "Simon's Cross". He was able to continue his ministry almost to the end, due to the support and care of his parishioners, who formed rotas to provide 24-hour care for their priest. He died during World AIDS Week 1995, nine years after discovering that he had the HIV virus. In this volume, his sister tells the story of his life with AIDS.

More LGBT History at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Gay Classics

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