elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,
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elisa_rolle

Grant Holmes & Jeffrey John

Jeffrey Philip Hywel John (born 10 February 1953) is a Church of England priest and the current Dean of St Albans. He made headlines in 2003 when he was the first person to have openly been in a same-sex relationship to be nominated as a Church of England bishop. Owing to the consequent controversy it was claimed he had withdrawn his acceptance of the nomination.

On 20 May 2003 John's appointment as Bishop of Reading, a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Oxford, was announced. The nomination led to controversy both in the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion owing to John's long-term relationship (beginning in 1976) with the Revd Grant Holmes (born 1952), also a Church of England priest, despite publicly stating that their relationship was celibate. In August 2006, John and the Reverend Grant Holmes entered into a civil partnership.

John was born in Tonyrefail in South Wales in 1953. He studied at Hertford College, Oxford, where he gained a first in classics and modern languages in 1975. He subsequently studied theology at St Stephen's House, Oxford and obtained second class honours. After a curacy in Penarth he returned to Oxford in 1980 to study for a doctorate in Pauline theology. He became chaplain at Brasenose College. In 1984 he was appointed Dean of Divinity at Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1991 he was one of the founder members of Affirming Catholicism, a group promoting Catholicism within the Anglican tradition. He is also a trustee of the organisation. He also supported the campaign for the ordination of women. From 1991 he was the vicar of Holy Trinity, Eltham, (in the Diocese of Southwark) in south London. In 1997 he became Canon Chancellor and Theologian of Southwark Cathedral.

John received criticism on his nomination both for his stance on gay issues and because he had not publicly repented his past sexual activities in such a way as to indicate that they were wrong. A number of conservative Anglican leaders in various countries stated their intention to split from the communion if the consecration went ahead. Concerns over the potential for division led the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Rowan Williams, to pressure John to step down and, on 6 July 2003, he was announced as having withdrawn his acceptance of the nomination to the bishopric though it later emerged that he had not in fact agreed to do so. In spite of the withdrawal of John the differences in views of homosexuality within the Anglican church continued to cause controversy in 2003 following the election of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church in the United States.


Jeffrey John is a Church of England priest and the current Dean of St Albans. On 20 May 2003 John's appointment as Bishop of Reading, a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Oxford, was announced. The nomination led to controversy both in the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion owing to John's long-term relationship (beginning in 1976) with the Revd Grant Holmes (born 1952), also a Church of England priest. In August 2006, John and Holmes entered into a civil partnership.

On 19 April 2004, 10 Downing Street announced John's appointment as Dean of St Albans. He was inducted on 2 July 2004.

Following a talk broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in Holy Week 2007, John was criticised by some Evangelical bishops, the Bishop of Durham, the Bishop of Willesden and the Bishop of Lewes, for denying the doctrine of penal atonement. Referring to this particular explanation of the Christ's crucifixion, John said, "It was worse than illogical, it was insane. It made God sound like a psychopath." In explaining his own view, he said, "On the cross Jesus dies for our sins; the price of our sin is paid; but it is not paid to God but by God". He cited Julian of Norwich, a widely admired 14th century English mystic who asserted that "there is no wrath in God".

At the end of August 2008, speculation began that John was one of the nominees for the post of Bishop of Bangor in Wales. A series of media reports in August and September 2008 added weight to the story, which drew strong negative reactions from conservative commentators from within the Church of England and in other conservative quarters.

July 2010 saw widespread media reports that John was the Crown Nomination Commission's preferred candidate for appointment as Bishop of Southwark in succession to Tom Butler. These reports again attracted wide comment, both in support and in opposition. Subsequent reports suggested that his name had been removed from the list of potential appointees following leaking of the proposal.

John has spoken publicly in favour of the introduction of same-sex marriage.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_John

Further Readings:

God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage by Gene Robinson
Series: Vintage
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Vintage (June 4, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307948099
ISBN-13: 978-0307948090
Amazon: God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage
Amazon Kindle: God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage

From the IX Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church, the first openly gay person elected to the episcopate and the world’s leading religious spokesperson for gay rights and gay marriage—a groundbreaking book that persuasively makes the case for same-sex marriage using a commonsense, reasoned, religious argument.

Robinson holds the religious text of the Bible to be holy and sacred and the ensuing two millennia of church history to be relevant to the discussion. He is equally familiar with the secular and political debate about gay marriage going on in America today, and is someone for whom same-sex marriage is a personal issue; Robinson was married to a woman for fourteen years and is a father of two children and has been married to a man for the last four years of a twenty-five-year relationship.

Robinson has a knack for taking complex and controversial issues and addressing them in plain direct language, without using polemics or ideology, putting forth his argument for gay marriage, and bringing together sacred and secular points of view.

More Real Life Romances at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance


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