A senior Church of England clergyman has attacked evangelical Christians for conducting what he calls a “witch hunt” against gay people.

“The thought that anybody should be shown the door by the Church, I just find deeply offensive,” the Very Reverend Dr John Moses said prior to his final service as Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral.

“It has to be recognised that we live in different cultural contexts, and pastoral questions which are deeply sensitive might have different solutions in different places.”

Dr Moses added: “What I do know is that I don’t find the truth by slamming the door on the debate. I do not actually want to know about people’s sexual orientation, if I am honest, I take people on trust.”

Dr Moses has also suggested that the communion of the Anglican Church be split into “associated” and “constituent” provinces, something that has already been rejected by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.

Dr Williams used his address to the Church of England’s national assembly, the General Synod, to call interpretations of the idea of “associated” and “covenant” congregations “nonsense.”

He said: “In spite of some interesting reporting and some slightly intemperate reaction, this contained no directives (I do not have authority to dictate policy to the provinces of the Communion) and no foreclosing of the character and content of such a covenant. Were any such arrangement to be proposed, it would of course have to be owned by the constitutional bodies governing Provinces.”