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Three London priests resign honorary roles at Ghanaian cathedral over bishops' support for anti-LGBT laws

Three London priests resign honorary roles at Ghanaian cathedral over bishops' support for anti-LGBT laws

By Alex Collett
January 14, 2022

Three priests from the Diocese of Southwark have resigned as honorary canons of a Ghanaian cathedral in response to the Ghanaian bishops' apparent support for criminalisation of LGBTQ + people.

Vicar of St John the Divine with St James the Apostle, Kennington Rev Mark Williams, Rev Angus Aagaard the team rector of North Lambeth and Rev Jonathan Sedgwick, the rector of St George the Martyr with St Aphege and St Jude, Southwark have all given up their roles.

In a parish email newsletter, Rev Mark Williams, wrote: "It is with great sadness that I inform you that I have resigned as a Canon of Asante Mampong Cathedral in Ghana.

"A draft bill has been presented in the parliament in Ghana criminalising LGBTQ+ people and those who support them.

"Unfortunately the churches have felt under pressure to support this Bill and they have done so.

"Following several weeks of discussion with the Archbishop of Ghana, the support of the church for the Bill has not changed in the public domain, and this left me and two other Ghanaian canons in the Diocese of Southwark with no other choice but to resign.

"This fills me with enormous sadness given my association with the Church in Ghana over some 17 years.

"Please pray for Ghana, and for all those affected by this proposed changed in the law."

Many bishops in the Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury have expressed their concern about the support for the Bill.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury later apologised for having commented without first speaking to the Ghanaian archbishop.

He told the General Synod in November that the Anglican Church in Ghana did not, contrary to reports, endorse the proposed criminalisation of the LGBTQ+ community in the Bill a statement not yet confirmed in the public domain by the Ghanaian bishops.

VOL: Welby backpedaled faster than a snake being chased by a mongoose. He feared the cry of being called a colonial and imperialist running dog. Ghana was, after all, a British colony. Ghana was the first place in sub-Saharan Africa where Europeans arrived to trade - first in gold, later in slaves. It was also the first black African nation in the region to achieve independence from its colonial power - Britain. To accuse Ghana of being homophobic would have brought the African Anglican house down on his head. A source told VOL that some bishops are GAFCON. None are hostile.

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