Gay Vicar Retiring Because Church of England is “Excluding” Gay Couples
The Revd Richard Coles retired from his position as Vicar of St Mary the Virgin in Finedon on Easter Sunday. In explaining his reasoning, he told The Sunday Times Magazine that he believes the Church of England is “increasingly excluding gay couples.”
Coles is best known as a member of the pop music duo, The Communards and for his BBC Radio 4 work as the presenter of the Saturday Live broadcast.
He told the magazine, “The Church of England I love is a church of liberal sympathies, of broad inclusion, beautiful worship, wise preaching, dog-friendly with Fairtrade biscuits, and when it comes to orthodoxy would rather its members were not Goneril or Regan, proclaiming their zealous devotion, but Cordelia, confessing her love.
“The churches that are viable – by that, I mean growing in numbers and income – tend to be conservative, punchy, fundamentalist in matters of scripture, rigorous in matters of doctrine, and about as likely to offer choral evensong as I am to do the 400m hurdles.
“Some of my friends, and many faithful Christians, are at home in churches like these. But if the future Church of England looks exclusively like that, I cannot see myself in it […] because they are places where gay people are not welcome, and that rules me out.”
Mr Coles’ retirement from parish ministry comes at a time when most believe the Church of England to be moving in a more liberal direction.