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ENGLAND: Chelmsford Bishop Attempts Infiltration of CofE's Gay Agenda into Kenya

ENGLAND: Chelmsford Bishop Attempts Infiltration of CofE's Gay Agenda into Kenya

By David W. Virtue
March 6, 2014

Under the guise of "Engaging in Holistic Mission with Kenya", pro-gay Church of England Bishop of Chelmsford Stephen Cottrell is asking individuals and parishes to partner in an exciting two-way mission adventure as part of his Lenten Appeal for 2014.

He has invited a group of 20 clergy, ordinands and lay people from partner dioceses in Kenya to come and work with folk in the Diocese of Chelmsford "in mission" for three weeks later in the year. According to Bishop Cottrell, the group will bring a vibrancy of faith and spirituality to support local parish mission initiatives.

"I am particularly keen that some of them join in with our mission Weekends. I will be meeting the group in Kenya next month to brief them on the sorts of events they are likely to encounter." The bishop goes on to say that "our Kenyan brothers and sisters will be helping us to proclaim the gospel here."

What the bishop did not say is that he is a proponent of the Church of England's gay agenda that recently took a huge hit when the Church of England's House of Bishops argued that same-sex marriage is unacceptable affirming the church's historic teaching on sexuality between a man and a woman in holy matrimony.

The bishop is a strong advocate of Affirming Catholicism, a group whose leader is the former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams.

When Jeffery John was forced to stand down as Bishop of Reading, the appointment of Stephen Cottrell as his successor was greeted with enthusiasm by evangelicals within the Diocese of Oxford. Yet John and Cottrell are both members of this liberal group. For what reason, then, was Cottrell welcomed in place of John, other than that he was not a homosexual?

An adherent of church policy on homosexuality, Cottrell opined, "My personal view has been one that has been open to what God is trying to say to us through the experience of gay and lesbian people. I feel this is an open question. My mind is not made up."

Cottrell called for less talking and more listening on the issue of homosexuality. "First of all we need to listen to God. We need to listen to the witness of Scripture. We need to listen to gay and lesbian people in our churches. My hope is that as a bishop I can begin to create an environment of trust and honesty where we can begin to listen to each other." ...

Speaking at a press conference in Reading, Canon Cottrell noted, "I think too much has been made of disagreements in the Church. In any family there are disagreements but disagreements don't stop you from loving one another. In a funny way, it's how you manage those disagreements that shows your love."

If Bishop Cottrell keeps to this line in Chelmsford diocese and doesn't campaign against the official church policy as his predecessor John Gladwin did, he should be acceptable to his congregations and clergy, wrote blogger John Richardson.

In June 2013 at Chelmsford Cathedral, Bishop Cottrell ordained as a Deacon the Rev. Jide Macaulay, an openly gay Nigerian preacher and the founder of House of Rainbow Fellowship, a Christian community for what is euphemistically called "sexual minorities". Macaulay serves as the Curate in the East Ham Parish, London.

This was in clear violation of the church's teaching as Macaulay had been married to a woman, produced a child, and then announced he was gay and left his wife. Those familiar with similar happenings in North America will see this action as right out of the playbook of The Episcopal Church and Bishop Gene Robinson.

However, this is not the first time the Diocese of Chelmsford has been in trouble with the orthodox (evangelical) Anglican Church of Kenya.

In June 2006, the former Bishop of Chelmsford John Gladwin got blasted by then Archbishop of Kenya Benjamin Nzimbi and was forced to abandon a two-week tour of the diocese after the Archbishop of Kenya found out about his liberal views on homosexuality.

Bishop Gladwin, who was leading a group of 21 people on the trip around the Mount Kenya region, was told the church had cancelled the group's remaining scheduled activities. A local newspaper report uncovered the fact that Gladwin was a patron of Changing Attitude, a campaign group promoting equality for gay, lesbian and bisexual people in the Church of England.

Archbishop Nzimbi ripped Gladwin saying he was distancing himself from him and his group over the crucial issue that has torn the fabric of the Anglican Communion. At the time, he said, "We will still give them hospitality but this does not mean that we agree with them. WE DO NOT.

"Anyone advocating for the full inclusion of gays and lesbians in the leadership of the church cannot be in communion with the Province of Kenya because we have said categorically that we do not support that. They are not abiding with our stand so we cannot be in communion with them.

"In Kenya we have these gay and lesbian people in the community but we do not approve of what they are doing. We speak to them and give them pastoral care so that they may do the right thing. We do not however believe that men should marry men or women marry women. We believe in marriage between a man and a woman ..." (Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10)

It would appear that Bishop Cottrell is repeating his predecessor's plan and is trying to slip into Kenya under the radar, hoping that the present Archbishop of Kenya, Eliud Wabukala won't notice.


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