Welby Appoints Liberal Activist as His Chief of Staff
Then Disagrees with the Term “Liberal”
The Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury has appointed a liberal female activist to become his Chief of Staff. The Revd Ijeoma Ajibade, currently Regional Director, Europe of the Mission to Seafarers is to start the new post in November.
Her home diocese in the Church of England is Southwark. She was ordained in 2010.
Ajibade is originally from Nigeria.
She was a founding member of the Kaleidoscopic Trust. The group is a LGBT+ advocacy group. She has also served as a board member of Bisi Alimi Foundation. That organisation is also a gay rights advocacy group but named after one of the first public Nigerians to profess his homosexuality on TV.
The Anglican news outlet, Anglican Ink, was chastised by Welby for its characterisation of Ajibade as a liberal activist. The outlet then published many of the would-be Chief of Staff’s public Tweets on the Twitter social media platform.
She criticised the appointment of former PM, Teresa May as Patron of the Clergy Support Trust. First she called May’s appointment, “dreadful” adding a vomiting emoji for emphasis. She then wrote, “as Home Secretary, Mrs May “introduced and systemically implemented the
“hostile environment’, which targeted and destroyed the lives of some of the most
vulnerable people in our society, many of whom were (and are) faithful clergy and lay church members.”
“She traded politically on the positive image she derived from being a clergyman’s daughter, before comprehensively betraving Christian values by leading a relentless and cruel Home Office in one of its most shameful, inhumane programmes of action.”
In 2012, Ajibade attacked the Church of Nigeria for not supporting same-sex marriage in an article she wrote for the Huffington Post.
A spokesperson at Lambeth Palace defending Ajibade was quoted as saying,
“Ijeoma holds to the Church of England’s position and teaching on human sexuality. Previously she has campaigned for the human rights of LGBT+ people – and opposed their persecution and criminalisation – in her native Nigeria, across Africa and around the Commonwealth. That is completely consistent with the mind of the Anglican Communion as set out in numerous statements by the Primates, which clearly state that we reject homophobia in all its forms. It is also consistent with Lambeth 1.10.”
The Revd Ajibade joins Mr Stephen Knott as one of the Archbishop’s key aides. Knott is in a same-sex marriage, which is not recognised by the Church of England and is the Senior Appointments Secretary for the Archbishops.