Cathedral denies banning vicar from preaching at carol service

Tue 27 Nov 2018
By Premier Journalist

Derby Cathedral has denied banning a Church of England vicar from preaching at the city's university Christian Union (CU) carol service which it is hosting next month.

Rev Melvin Tinker, vicar of St John Newland in Hull, accepted an invitation by students at the CU but was later informed that the invitation had to be withdrawn as bosses at the cathedral would not permit him to speak.

He says he's not heard anything from the cathedral itself and has only been informed via the CU.


Speaking to Premier, Rev Tinker, said: "I guess the implication was that I was going to say something rather dodgy or bring the cathedral into disrepute, but I think they've done a good job of that themselves, with some of the films they've been showing over the summer, which are rather dubious, and blocking me an Anglican priest in the church of England"

When asked what the cathedral might have taken issue with, Rev Tinker told Premier: "To be honest it's very difficult not to cause upset in the Church of England now if one holds an orthodox line, just on the basic beliefs and basic Christian behaviour and discipleship."

"It seems that basically the progressive agenda is one that is being bought into, and if you don't buy into that, then by default you are excluded....I'm saddened and not surprised, because this is part of a bigger trend.

"With all the talk of radical inclusion in the Church of England by two Archbishops, it seems increasingly the only people not being included are orthodox or particularly evangelicals."

Rev Tinker went on to say that the cathedral's decision might put off students: "What message is being sent by the cathedral to them? With no legitimate reason given that I would say something that would be un-Christian or political or anything like that, it seems rather high handed of them."

Tinker suggested no one from his church would be welcome to preach at the cathedral.

He said: "The explanation given to me by a member of the Christian Union executive was that no one, not just myself, from St Johns Newland could speak at the cathedral because of 'our relations with York diocese' and that was it. So no other reason was given."

Melvin Tinker has previously publicly criticised senior leaders in the Diocese of York over purported support of LGBT groups.

In a statement to Premier, Responding to the suggestions Tinker had been banned, Very Revd Stephen Hance, Dean of Derby said: "I am aware of online comments this morning claiming that Derby Cathedral has banned the Revd Melvin Tinker from speaking at the Derby University Christian Union Carol Service.

"The Dean invites all guest preachers for services to be held at the cathedral. This remains the Dean's responsibility even when the service is organised jointly with another organisation."

"Planning a service with an outside organisation always entails some back and forth, including about whom the Dean might invite to preach.

"It is entirely wrong to claim that anyone has been 'banned' simply because the Dean has not chosen to invite them on this occasion.

"I am delighted that the Rev Neil Barber, the vicar of St Giles Normanton, who is a well-regarded preacher in the Conservative Evangelical tradition, has accepted my invitation to preach at this occasion."

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