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Young Christians would be "delighted" with LGBTI liturgy says Bishop of Buckingham

Thu 04 Feb 2016
By Hannah Tooley

An Anglican bishop is calling on the Church of England to issue new service books with liturgies for same-sex weddings and celebrate transgender Christians as part of reforms to end a culture of alleged discrimination in the Church. 

Rt Revd Alan Wilson is part of the LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex) Mission which has put forward the idea. The group says "despite the teachings of our faith to love our neighbours, and that God is love, this is not the experience of many LGBTI people within the church".

The groups objective have been criticised by many within the Church. Speaking to Premier, Susie Leafe, director of Reform, a group which campaigns against changes to marriage, said: "Jesus certainly loved everyone but he didn't celebrate anybody, what he did is he called us to himself.

"He told us of God's love for us but he also talked about the brokenness of the world we live in, the light came into the darkness."

She added that the Primates meeting earlier in the month made clear the direction the Church should be taking. She said: "Those who are going down this line are stepping outside of the teaching of the Anglican Church."

Susie Leafe added that people "need to see what it means to live according to His words, we can't just change those."

But the Bishop of Buckingham Rt Revd Alan Wilson says now is the time for change.

Speaking on Premier's News Hour he said: "There's a quadruple lock of legislation to prevent a gay person darkening the doors of the church to get married.

"But there are thousands of people all over the country, actually 72% of Anglicans under 35, would be delighted if the answer was yes."

He said that churches need to look at new ways to welcome LGBTI people.

"We all say we want to welcome them but what would it look like - it would be a place where you could pray using your own words without having to squeeze them into something that isn't you.

"It would be a place where you would be able to be baptised, or be confirmed or take communion without any prejudice reaction to who you are."

Listen to Premier's Antony Bushfield speeak to Rt Revd Alan Wilson here:

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speak to Susie Leafe here:

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