A British Anglican bishop faced a hostile reception on a visit to a Kenyan diocese in East Africa yesterday after being accused of representing a gay rights lobby in the country.

Reverend John Gladwin, visiting St Thomas Cathedral in Kerugoya, denied reports in a local paper that he was in the area to promote homosexuality.

He told the congregation, “We did not come here to talk about homosexuality. Those issues will be dealt with elsewhere, but we are all united in the Lord.”

The clergyman was accompanied on the trip by his wife and three other clerics including Chelmsford Canon Roger Matthews, he said: “If the story were true, we would not have dared to step in any church in this country.”

The story prompted the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACF) to reissue a statement opposing homosexuality and same sex marriages.

The Anglican Church has recently faced split fears over the ordination of gay bishops and issues of gay marriage.