Why the Ashers ‘gay cake’ ruling is wrong in law

In 2014, gay rights activist Gareth Lee approached Ashers Bakery in Northern Ireland, run by evangelical Christians the McArthur family, and said he wanted to order a cake depicting the Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie below the motto ‘Support gay marriage’ for an event to mark International Day Against Homophobia. The bakery refused—not on the grounds … Continue Reading

Do we need more vicars?

The Church of England has just released two related reports on numbers in ordained ministry. These are not related to annual ministry figures; the last figures (from 2015) were released in June, and caught the headlines for a number of reasons. These reports are related more to the aims of the Renewal and Reform process, … Continue Reading

Questions about the Manchester ‘blessing’

Peter Ould writes: The Sunday Times yesterday highlighted a service that took place on Saturday at St Agnes’ Church in North Reddish, Manchester. This was a service of “blessing” (as described on the church website) for the same-sex marriage of the now former vicar, Clive Larsen, one of the trustees of Changing Attitude. The piece in the … Continue Reading

Did Jesus heal the centurion’s gay lover?

At the end of May, Jeffrey John, Dean of St Alban’s, preached at Liverpool Cathedral on the healing of the centurion’s servant in Luke 7. You can listen to the sermon on the Cathedral’s Soundcloud stream. John is a consummate orator, and he begins with a story from his teenager years, when his vicar refers to … Continue Reading

Do we have enough vicars?

Today the Ministry Statistics for 2015 are released (soon to be posted on the C of E stats web page) and they tell us the stark reality of decline in clergy numbers. On Radio 4 this morning, Rose Hudson-Wilkins suggested that this wasn’t too worrying, since we can dispense with the model of the ‘white, … Continue Reading

Christian Concern and the Victoria Wasteney case

Peter Ould writes: A week ago Christian Concern issued a press release covering the failed Employment Tribunal Appeal of Victoria Wasteney, an NHS therapist who was disciplined for her interactions with a female muslim junior. According the Christian Concern (hereafter CC), the case raises all kinds of freedom of religion issues, but on closer examination is … Continue Reading

Transgender parenting

Question : When a human with XY chromosomes contributes sperm towards the conception of a child, are they are the father or mother of the consequential child? Answer : It’s a bit complicated… Peter Ould writes: The news this week that transgender model Fay Purdham is asking for donations to help her conceive a child with … Continue Reading

The ‘Gay Cake’ ruling

Thanks to Peter Ould for this guest post on the judgement in the Ashers Bakers case: The judgement on the private case in Northern Ireland between Gareth Lee (from Queerspace) and Ashers Bakers has been delivered and it’s an absolute corker. Some background first. This private case (not a criminal case so any talk of the … Continue Reading