School chaplain quits after saying LGBT people should remain ‘single and celibate’

Emma Powys Maurice November 13, 2019
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Kingswood school in Lansdown, Bath was founded by Methodist leader John Wesley in 1748 (Kingswood)

A chaplain of a top UK school created by the founder of the Methodist church has stepped down after saying that LGBT+ people should stay “single and celibate.”

Reverend David Hull, who had been chaplain for Kingswood School in Bath since 2015, is said to have created “unhelpful tensions” by declaring his opposition to same-sex marriage.

Hull made the offensive comments at a Methodist Conference in July, where the Church voted overwhelmingly in favour of embracing same-sex marriages.

Hull objected to this, telling the Christian news group Premier: “I’m very saddened by that decision …  The conference will claim that this is a decision that is being put out as a consultation … [but as Methodists] we believe that as part of that good news God’s plan for creation is either that we are married as one man and one woman for life or that we are single and celibate just as Jesus was.

“To move away from that is to move away from the good news.”

His views clearly weren’t shared by the school, which says it is a “welcoming, inclusive community” that “promotes confidence, open-mindedness and tolerance.”

Four months later the fall-out from the comments led to Hull’s resignation.

Anti-gay comments “brought unhelpful tensions into the school community”

In a letter to teachers, parents and other members of the school community, Hull wrote: “Since the summer, comments I made in the context of an internal debate within the Methodist Church have been circulated amongst the student, staff and parent bodies. This has brought unhelpful tensions into the school community.

“There has been no suggestion from church or school of any wrongdoing in making the comments. The views I have expressed have been recognised as being in line with the current position of the church and will continue to be affirmed by the church.

“But the situation nevertheless needs to be resolved. I have therefore requested from the church an immediate curtailment of my appointment as chaplain to Kingswood School, which has subsequently been granted.”

Kingswood’s headmaster, Simon Morris, wished him well.

Related topics: LGBT-inclusive education, methodist church, religious schools, same sex marriage

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