The Anglican Communion and Homosexuality


The Very Revd Dr Victor Atta-Baffoe (West Africa)

Victor Atta-Baffoe had his theological education at St Nicholas Seminary, Cape Coast, Ghana (LTh); Trinity College, University of Toronto, Canada (STL);Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts USA (MA); Yale University Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut, USA (STM), King’s College London, University of London (PhD). He is the Dean of St Nicholas Seminary, Cape Coast, Ghana. He is a member of the Inter-Anglican Doctrinal and Theological Commission, Chairman of the African Network of Institutions of Theological Education Preparing Anglicans for Ministry (ANITEPAM), served on the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission, and is a member of the Anglican Covenant Design Group. He is married to Dorcas and has three children.

The Rt Revd Terry Brown (Melanesia)

Bishop Terry has been Bishop of Malaita, Solomon Islands, South Pacific in the Church of the Province of Melanesia for the past 11 years. He was born in the USA but he had his theological training in Canada, from which he first went as a missionary to the Church of Melanesia in 1975. For six years he taught at the provincial theological college, Bishop Patteson Theological College. He then returned to Canada to do his doctorate in church history. For 11 years he was Asia/Pacific Mission Coordinator of the Anglican Church of Canada, based in Toronto, and travelled extensively throughout the Asia/Pacific region and beyond. Finally, in 1996 he was elected Bishop of Malaita, returning not as a missionary but under local conditions of service with his fellow bishops. He is now Senior Bishop of the Province. Bishop Terry’s interest in the area of the Church and homosexuality is general, covering areas of scripture, theology, history, science, ethics and culture, and is rooted in his own personal life, his interest in history and anthropology and his experience of mission and ministry in many cross-cultural situations – the proclamation of the Gospel and living it faithfully but also sensitively in terms of those who have very different views from one’s own.

The Revd Sue Burns (Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia)

Sue is the Director of the Anglican Studies Programme at the College of St John the Evangelist, Auckland. In her previous role as Ministry Educator for the Diocese of Waikato, she was responsible for planning and facilitating respectful conversations on sexuality and homosexuality across the dioceses of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. She regards it as a privilege to have met with the participants in each setting of these conversations. Before emigrating to Aotearoa/New Zealand she completed ministry training at Trinity College, Bristol, having graduated with an honours degree in Biblical Studies from the University of Sheffield. It was through the study of biblical hermeneutics in Sheffield that she responded consciously to God and also began a lifetime of interest in language and interpretation. She delights in conversation and holds a Masters in Counselling and professional membership as a counsellor. She is currently enrolled in a PhD which includes theological reflection with the narratives and identities of people who are migrating.

The Revd Canon Dr Adrian Chatfield (England)

(Adrian has acted as a consultant to the editor, edited Chapter 6 and facilitated the conversation recorded in Chapter 7.)

Adrian Chatfield is currently Director of the Simeon Centre for Prayer and the Spiritual Life at Ridley Hall in Cambridge, and involved with the development of new forms of training ordinands for a range of pioneer ministries. A Trinidadian by birth and upbringing, he has exercised his priestly ministry in the Dioceses of Trinidad and Tobago, Exeter, Southwell and Nottingham, and Christ the King in South Africa. His book and study course on global Anglicanism, Something in Common, was commissioned by SPCK and the Centre for Anglican Communion Studies to address the breadth and variety of perspectives in the Communion, and aims to portray Anglicanism from a non-Eurocentric point of view.

The Revd Dr David de Pomerai (England)

David de Pomerai is currently Associate Professor in the School of Biology at the University of Nottingham, where he has been lecturing in genetics and animal development for almost 30 years. He has published two books and some 80 scientific papers on a variety of research topics, most recently dealing with nematode indicator genes that respond to environmental stress. He was recently the recipient of a UK–IERI Major Award to promote research co-operation between the UK and India. He was ordained in 1993 after studying part-time on the East Midlands Ministry Training Course (EMMTC), where he obtained a distinction. His interests in faith and science are combined in a long-running taught course on bioethics, which examines the ethical and social implications of several recent developments in the biological sciences (cloning, genetic engineering, etc.). He is also a longstanding member of the Society of Ordained Scientists. He is currently serving as an Associate Minister in the parish of Walton-on-Trent, Croxall, Rosliston and Linton with Castle Gresley, and also acts as Science Adviser in the Diocese of Derby, England.

The Revd Dr Canon Ian Douglas (USA)

Angus Dun Professor of Mission and World Christianity at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Ian is a member of the Design Group for the 2008 Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops, a Consultant for Theological Education in the Anglican Communion (TEAC), a past member the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Mission and Evangelism, and a former missionary in Haiti. He serves on the International Editorial Board for the Journal of Anglican Studies and is a founding organizer of the Anglican Contextual Theologians Network. Ian is a member of the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church, and was recently elected as The Episcopal Church’s clergy member of the Anglican Consultative Council. In addition he is Convener of the Episcopal Seminary Consultation on Mission and a founder of Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation. He publishes and speaks widely on mission, world Christianity and contemporary Anglicanism. Ian is married to Kristin Harris and they are the parents of three, almost grown, children.

The Revd Samson Fan (Hong Kong)

Samson was ordained to be a deacon in 2001 and priest the following year. He is now the vicar of St Thomas’ Church in the Diocese of West Kowloon, Hong Kong. He has been involved in theological education in Ming Hua Theological College. He has published books for young people about myths and Western culture, ways of thinking and an introduction to ten important contemporary thinkers. He is now studying for a Masters degree at the Chinese University of Hong Kong; his Masters thesis is on Bishop Gore and the Anglican Incarnational Theology. He is particularly interested in the history of Christian thought, especially the development of Anglican theology.

The Revd Dr Griphus Gakuru (England)

Dr Griphus Gakuru is currently vicar of All Saints’ Church, Stechford, in the Diocese of Birmingham. Originally a science teacher by profession, he was ordained deacon in the Anglican Church of Uganda in 1988. After serving as curate-in-charge of a parish and part-time visiting tutor at Bishop Tucker Theological College, Uganda (now Uganda Christian University), he studied at Cambridge University, where he graduated with an MPhil and then a PhD in Old Testament Studies, and at University College London where he obtained an MA in Philosophy and Religion. Dr Gakuru was Visiting Lecturer in Old Testament at the Universities of Birmingham and Liverpool Hope in 1987/8 and 2000/1 respectively. He is married with three children.

The Revd Dr Professor Joseph Galgalo (Kenya)

Joseph is the Associate Professor in Systematic and Contextual Theologies at St Paul’s United Theological College, Limuru, Kenya. He is also a priest of the Anglican Church of Kenya and involved in theological education and ecumenical formation at various levels. Joseph serves as a member of the Inter-Anglican theological and Doctrinal Commission, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Panel of Reference, and the Education and Ecumenical Formation Commission of the WCC.

The Revd Dr Andrew Goddard (England)

(Andrew has written the introduction and short introductions to each of the chapters.)

Andrew studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford before completing a theology doctorate on the life and work of Jacques Ellul. He is a member of the Theology Faculty at Oxford University where he taught Christian ethics at Wycliffe Hall. In recent years he has played a significant role in the Anglican Communion debates on homosexuality and the nature of communion. He is the author of several Grove booklets on issues of human sexuality including God, Gentiles and Gay Christians and co-authored True Union in the Body? with Peter Walker. He is the editor of Anvil, the Anglican evangelical theology journal, and is a Fellow of the Anglican Communion Institute. He is on the Faith and Order Advisory Group of the Church of England, the leadership team of Fulcrum and active in the Evangelical Alliance. Andrew and his wife Elisabeth have two children.

Dr Paula Gooder (England)

Paula Gooder studied theology as an undergraduate and graduate student at Oxford University. After gaining her doctorate on 2 Corinthians 12.1–10 she taught at Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford and then at the Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham. Her research areas include the writings St Paul (with a particular emphasis on 2 Corinthians), biblical interpretation and the development of ministry in the early Church. Paula is Canon Theologian of Birmingham Cathedral and an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. She is a Reader in the Church of England and a member of the General Synod of the Church of England. She has published on a wide range of topics including Only the Third Heaven? 2 Corinthians 12.1–10 and the Heavenly Ascent Tradition (Continuum, 2006); Exploring New Testament Greek: A Way in (SCM, 2004) and Hosea-Micah (BRF, 2004). She is currently working on a book for SPCK called Searching for Meaning: A Practical Guide to New Testament Interpretation. Paula’s experience comes from many years of reading and exploring methods of biblical interpretation, particularly of interpreting the Pauline Epistles and of wrestling with questions of how they can be best applied and used within the churches today.

Revd Canon Phil Groves (Anglican Communion Office)

Phil Groves is the Facilitator of the Listening Process on human sexuality in the Anglican Communion. His role includes monitoring the work being undertaken on the subject of human sexuality in the Anglican Communion and developing the process of mutual listening, including ‘listening to the experience of homosexual persons’ and the experience of local churches around the world. Phil was previously a vicar in the Church of England. Prior to that he was for seven years a lecturer at a Provincial Theological College in Tanzania where he was installed as an honorary canon of All Saints Cathedral Mpwapwa. He developed and taught a course on Anglicanism for the Church of Tanzania and is currently researching a biblical model of international partnership. He has published a Grove Booklet entitled Global Partnerships for Local Mission. Phil is on the Council of St John’s Nottingham and is a Trustee of the Church Mission Society.

Professor Glynn Harrison (England)

Glynn Harrison is Norah Cooke Hurle Professor of Mental Health in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Bristol. He is a consultant psychiatrist interested in early interventions for young adults and the evaluation of interventions to enhance evidence-based practice. He researches the epidemiology of mental disorders, and is interested in the relative contributions of biological and social/environmental risk factors. He has acted as an Adviser to the World Health Organization and the UK Health Department and he is currently President of the International Federation of Psychiatric Epidemiology. He is a Diocesan Lay Minister and a member of the General Synod of the Church of England.

The Rt Revd Dr John Holder (West Indies)

Bishop John Holder trained for the ordained ministry at Codrington College, Barbados and continued his studies at the University of the South, USA. He completed a PhD at King’s College London in 1984. His specialities are in Old Testament hermeneutics and the writings of Second Temple Judaism. In the 1980s and 1990s he held a number of academic posts in the West Indies and was a visiting Professor in Seminaries in the United States. During this time he was also active in parish ministry in several parishes in the Diocese of Barbados. He was consecrated Bishop of Barbados in 2000. Bishop John’s academic publications have focused on the Old Testament, but have reflected his concern for Christian ministry in the Caribbean. He has also published biblical reflections and is a contributor to Light for Our Path. His biblical reflections are based on his academic scholarship but aim to be accessible for those who do not have an academic training. In his role as Bishop he is involved in the life of Barbados and chairs the Religious Advisory Committee on National Affairs, a body which offers advice to the Barbadian Government. He is also a member of the Privy Council. He is the Chair of the Barbados Christian Council and of the Inter-faith HIV/AIDS Commission. In 2004 he published a study guide to enable his pastors to engage with critical areas of pastoral concern entitled The Bible in the Anglican Tradition: The Bible and Human Sexuality. He has served the global Anglican Communion, and from 2001 to 2006 he was a member of the Advisory Group to the Anglican Observer to the United Nations. In 2006 he attended the St Augustine’s Seminar which met to plan the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

The Very Revd Dr John Kevern (USA)

Dr Kevern is the Dean (Principal) of Bexley Hall Episcopal Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, USA and also an Associate Professor of Historical Theology. Fr Kevern read French as an undergraduate and theology at the General Seminary in New York, culminating at a doctorate at the University of Chicago with a thesis on Hans Urs von Balthasar. He has had many years of parish experience, both in Chicago and in country towns in upstate New York. He has also been a member of parishes in the Diocese of Gibraltar (Church of England in Europe) and the Anglican Church of Canada, having lived in Paris, Berne, Montreal and London. For these reasons, he has a high interest in intra-Anglican affairs and the Communion generally. Fr Kevern was previously the head of Affirming Catholicism in the USA, serving at the request of Bishop Griswold. He also served for ten years as the secretary to the American Lutheran-Episcopal dialogue, which produced the covenant leading to full communion. This experience of ‘covenant making’ also contributes to a desire for intra-Anglican covenant making. Dean Kevern very much enjoys teaching church history and liturgy at his theological college, and finds the formation of future Anglican priests to be one of the most gratifying careers one could possibly have.

The Revd Professor Jaci Maraschin (Brazil)

Born in Brazil, Jaci is a retired priest of the Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil and professor of the Anglican Institute of Theological Studies in São Paulo. He has published articles and books in the area of Liturgy and Culture and lectured at the Trinity Institute and Union Theological Seminary in New York. At the last two Lambeth Conferences he acted as theological consultant. He was a member of the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission and of the second phase of the Anglican–Roman Catholic International Dialogue (ARCIC II). As a musician and hymnwriter he has published song books and CDs. Jaci holds academic degrees in music, philosophy, theology and sciences of religion. He has a doctorate from the University of Strasbourg, France, and undertook post-doctoral work at Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University in New York. For many years he was member of the Faith and Order Standing Commission of the WCC and worked in the Music and Liturgical Team for the World Assembly of the WCC in Canberra, Australia, 1991. Jaci is married to Ana Dulce and has two daughters.

Ms Janet Marshall (Canada)

Janet Marshall is a congregational development consultant and adult educator who works extensively with churches and judicatories to help create healthy communities of faith. Janet is co-founder of Potentials, an ecumenical centre for the development of ministry and congregations. Her work includes developing resources, and the design and facilitation of processes for listening and learning, visioning and planning, conflict mediation, leadership development, amalgamations, organizational renewal, and making difficult decisions. She is co-author of Hearing Diverse Voices: Seeking Common Ground, a programme of study on homosexuality for the Anglican Church of Canada, and God, Kids and Us: The Growing Edge of Ministry with Children and the People Who Care for Them, and author of A Journey Just Begun, a parish visioning resource. She is currently working on Amalgamations and Mergers: Last Gasp or New Ministry?

The Revd Canon Dr Michael Nai-Chiu Poon (South East Asia)

Michael is the Director of the Centre for the Study of Christianity in Asia and lecturer in church history at Trinity Theological College, Singapore. He is an honorary canon in the Diocese of Singapore, and chairs the Global South Anglican Theological Formation and Education Task Force. Michael was deaconed in 1986 and priested in 1987 in Hong Kong. He was the General Secretary of the Missionary Area of Macao before moving to Singapore in 2004. Michael grew up in a Methodist family. He is married to Kwai Fan. They have three children.

The Revd Debbie Royals (USA)

Debbie was born in Tucson, Arizona. She is from the Pascua Yaqui Tribe on her mother’s side and part Cherokee on her father’s side. She is the mother of two sons and a grandmother. She attended the University of Arizona studying nursing and worked as a nurse and health-care administrator for 25 years prior to attending seminary. She attended seminary at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific and completed a Master of Divinity in 2005 and a Master of Arts in Religion and Society at the Graduate Theological Union in 2006. Her thesis, ‘Bridge-maker: Developing/Imagining a Native American Narrative Theology for Ministry’ offers an objective view of the systems that inform the development of Native ministry. Debbie’s ministry in the Church includes Native American ministry development, writing curriculum for Native Ministry and the Church, spiritual direction, and the development of an appreciative focus on diversity training. She has published several articles in the First People’s Theology Journal relating to the spirituality of indigenous people. She believes that the ‘listening process’ offers the hope for reconciliation and witness of the Anglican Communion to the world. As an indigenous woman theologian she understands that our relationship with our God and Creator seeks to bring into balance our whole selves; therefore, connecting sexuality and spirituality are essential. Her partner, the Revd Kay Sylvester, serves as priest in the Diocese of Los Angeles.

The Revd Canon Charley Thomas (Central Africa)

Charley is the son of the late Very Revd Canon K. T. Thomas, an Indian missionary to East Africa and Zambia for 40 years. His wife is Dr Rachel C. Thomas and their children’s names are Molly, Tony and Jolly. Even though he was born in Kerala, India, he was educated in Tanzania, India, Zambia and the United Kingdom. He is a graduate in Theology, Mission Studies, Anglican Communion Studies and has attended numerous workshops and conferences in Globalization, WCC-Focus on Africa, Contextual Theology, Evangelism and Development, Canterbury Summer School, ALPHA, Inter-Faith Exposure, All Africa Conference of Churches, General Assembly, Peace and Conflict Resolution, etc. He was ordained to the diaconate in Central Zambia and to the priesthood in Bath and Wells. He was on secondment as Director of Ecumenical Theological Education by Extension in Zambia (1992–2001); and as Director of Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation (2001–2007) and is Dean Designate of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Lusaka, Zambia (October 2007). As an Indian resident in Africa for over 40 years and having trained in three continents, and with family in Africa, America, Europe and Asia, he believes he has been called to a ministry of cross-cultural reconciliation. As an Anglican priest and the son of one, he has grown up in the Anglican Anglo-Catholic, evangelical, charismatic and modernist traditions. Fifteen years of ecumenical ministry have had an impact on his life, preparing him to listen to views and voices that are not necessarily his, but have played an important role in his formation. He believes he can make a contribution to the ‘listening process’ and the healing process of the Anglican Communion.

The Revd Janet Trisk (Southern Africa)

Janet is a South African and a lecturer in Systematic Theology and Spirituality at the College of the Transfiguration, Grahamstown, South Africa. She is ordained and served for five years in parish ministry. She represented the ACSA at the ACC meeting in 2005. Before training for the ministry, Janet was a lawyer. Her academic interests include women’s theologies, the construction of identity and Christian anthropology. She holds a Masters degree from the University of Cape Town. Her doctoral studies keep getting postponed by activities such as this study process!