Richard Wood, the ordinand at the centre of a ‘gay row’ last year in the Diocese of Chelmsford, is to be ordained on Saturday 5th July by the Bishop of Barking acting on behalf of the Bishop of Chelmsford.
Richard’s ordination was halted at the last minute in 2007 when he said that he could not receive communion with the Bishop of Chelmsford over the latter’s role as a patron of the pro-gay campaign group, Changing Attitude. Richard, and his vicar, the Revd Mike Reith of Dagenham Parish Church, made it quite clear that although they accepted the lawful authority of the Bishop in his office, they did not feel able to share personal fellowship in the Lord’s Supper with someone they felt was imperilling people’s salvation and denying biblical teaching.
For the past twelve months, however, Richard has been working in Dagenham and living in the curate’s accommodation, whilst negotiations and discussions continued about his position.
It has now been accepted on all sides that there is no challenge to the Bishop’s authority from either Richard or Mike Reith, and no impediment to Richard’s ordination. The Bishop has accordingly given his direction that the ordination may proceed.
The ordination will take place at Dagenham Parish Church at 7.30pm.
Revd John Richardson
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