Diocese of Portsmouth

    Senior staff issue statement on our links with Ghana

    Beyond our diocese
    26 Oct. 2021

    A statement regarding our links with the Anglican Church in Ghana, and the support of its bishops for a bill being considered by the country's Parliament:

    Our bishop-designate, Bishop Jonathan Frost, our commissary bishop, Bishop Rob Wickham, and the senior staff of the Diocese of Portsmouth said, “As a diocese, we have long-standing, formal links with the Anglican Church in Ghana, which we value. However, we are dismayed to hear that the country’s Anglican bishops have thrown their weight behind the ‘Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values’ Bill.

    "We are seeking urgent conversations with our colleagues in Ghana to ask why - not least in the light of the communique signed by all Anglican Primates in 2016, in which they pledged to reject criminal sanctions against members of the LGBT+ community, and to challenge homophobia.

    “We strongly oppose the bill currently being considered by the Ghanaian Parliament, which proposes imprisonment of members of the LGBT+ community for being who they are, and to criminalise those who wish to support them. We believe this to be a fundamental violation of people’s human rights, which we believe will lead to state-sponsored violence that will threaten the lives of those in the LGBT+ community and their friends. As Christians, we also believe this stigmatises people in a way that does not affirm the value of each person as a unique individual, created in God’s image.

    “We are committed to our relationship with our Anglican brothers and sisters in Ghana, and there is much mutual respect. Our close relationship prompts us to challenge each other as fellow disciples of Jesus Christ, sharpening each other’s thinking and speaking up against injustice in our respective countries.”

    Statement made by:

    • The Rt Rev Jonathan Frost, Dean of York and Bishop-designate of Portsmouth
    • The Rt Rev Rob Wickham, commissary bishop for the Diocese of Portsmouth
    • The Very Rev Anthony Cane, Dean of Portsmouth
    • The Ven Peter Leonard, Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight
    • The Ven Jenny Rowley, Archdeacon of Portsdown
    • Canon Will Hughes, acting Archdeacon of the Meon
    • The Rev Allie Kerr, associate Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight
    • Victoria James, Diocesan Secretary
    • The Rev Max Cross, chairman of Portsmouth's Inter-Diocesan West Africa Link (IDWAL) committee

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