A statement by the Chapter of Southwark Cathedral
Southwark Cathedral has a long and proud reputation of standing up for diversity and inclusion within the church. It was therefore with deep sadness that we read the reports of the failed appointment process for the vacant see of the Diocese of Llandaff and especially of the way in which it affected the Dean of St Albans, the Very Revd Dr Jeffrey John.
Jeffrey was for some time Canon Chancellor of Southwark Cathedral. Those years included Jeffrey’s forced withdrawal from his appointment to the See of Reading in 2003. The whole Cathedral community shared in the pain that he and his partner, Fr Grant Holmes, suffered at that time.
Jeffrey was then, and still is, held in the highest regard both within and beyond the Cathedral community as a person of deep wisdom, the highest integrity and startling honesty. His willingness to live within the requirements laid down by the House of Bishops of the Church of England, and the public assurances that he does so, has not stopped him being rejected as a candidate for episcopal ministry.
We believe that the church, through its lack of similar integrity, wisdom and honesty, is failing to recognise the God-given abilities from which we as a community benefited.
We pray for Jeffrey and for Grant, for the Church in Wales and for a future in which discrimination on the grounds of sexuality, gender or ethnicity will cease.