Lay Delegate to General Synod Stands up Against PRIDE
“No pastoral care for every member.”
Mr Samuel Margrave, a lay delegate to the General Synod from Coventry Diocese, caused quite a stir as GS met in York. One of the official Synod chaplains, the Revd Andrew Hammond, took the opportunity to offer an address to the Synod in support of the Gay PRIDE movement. Hammond used worship time to object to Margrave’s Private Member’s Motion that called for a prohibition of flying the PRIDE rainbow flag on church structures. Hammond was described by the Telegraph as openly gay.
There were a number of complaints filed in response to Hammond’s address. Hammond, whose primary ministry is as Chaplain at St John’s College, Cambridge, resigned.
Margrave commented to the media, “I personally didn’t ask him to resign but raised concern over an unelected person trying to push politics on Synod and not being a source of unity.” The published job description of a Chaplain to the General Synod requires the “ability to observe appropriate professional neutrality with regards to the matters under discussion at Synod.”
Margrave has not backed off his stated position that the PRIDE flag “promotes sin and teaching which is contrary to the Holy Scriptures.”
In his letter of objection to the Synod, Margrave wrote to the Synodical leadership,
“While I am raising this particular issue, it is part of a wider problem of there not being pastoral [care] for every member of the General Synod and Chaplains who represent the wide range of views within the Church of England.
“At worship in Tuesday’s session, the Chaplain overstepped by promoting his view of PRIDE and undermining the concerns I’ve raised.
“Now, he his entitled to his views in a personal capacity and could stand for election, to speak on these matters in General Synod from the floor of the Synod.
“What is unacceptable is to use worship to push views that undermine other members of General Synod and therefore to use worshipers oppression and to manipulate views. That’s spiritual abuse and gerrymandering a democratic process.
“I would ask that the Chaplain retracts his comments and commits to act in the interests of all members of the General Synod, and that he will be impartial and a source of unity.
“I would also ask the business committee to explore a team chaplaincy for members of General Synod. Because at present, unless I am a member of the Catholic Group, I have no access to the sacraments as no one is saying the Eucharist who is available to me. Furthermore, with actions like this I am excluded from other forms of worship due to it becoming political and about a secular campaign.”