A senior Portsmouth Reverend is calling for gay people to be welcomed into the Church.

The Dean of Portsmouth Cathedral, the Very Rev David Brindley, said openly gay people should be welcomed into church communities and allowed to become priests. According to Church policy gay clergy should not be sexually active.

He told worshippers during a lecture: “If you read the Bible, slavery is allowed. But the abolition of slavery was brought about by new evangelical thought process. We changed our view because of new insights brought to us through a particular branch of the Church.”

Portsmouth News reported that the clergyman would welcome gay priests, he said: “I’d be happy to work alongside anyone ordained who is openly gay as long as they are in a committed relationship.”