A Church of England vicar is resigning his parish because of the “institutionalised homophobia” of the Church.
Father Andrew Foreshew-Cain, 53, will be leaving his parishes of St Mary with All Souls, Kilburn, and St James in West Hampstead in north London, in July and will then move to the Peak District where his husband Stephen works.
Although he says he still has his faith, he said that he would not be looking for another parish in the north. because he would be refused one because of his same-sex marriage.
“The Church of England is an organisation which is primarily institutionally homophobic, which has policies and statements which are harmful to LGBTI people, and I’m looking forward to not being responsible to an organisation which treats gay and lesbian people quite as badly as it does,” the vicar said.
“In the normal course of things I would look for a job in the area, but I am on a blacklist. I can’t carry on being a priest because the institutional homophobia of the church makes it impossible.
“I am sure lots of parishes would give me a job quite happily, but it is finding a bishop who would be willing to take the risk of licensing me to that parish. I am far too prominent.”
The Church of England allows its clergy to be in a civil partnership, provided the relationship is celibate.
However, it does not officially allow its clergy to enter into same-sex marriages, insisting that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, although in practice it has been “tolerated” in certain parishes.