On January 15th 2016, during the final press conference of the Primates Meeting in Canterbury, the Archbishop of Canterbury gave an unequivocal personal apology to the LGBTI community for the “hurt and pain, past and present, that the Church has caused”.
This was accompanied by a communique agreed by the Primates, in which it stated:
“The Primates condemned homophobic prejudice and violence and resolved to work together to offer pastoral care and loving service irrespective of sexual orientation. This conviction arises out of our discipleship of Jesus Christ. The Primates reaffirmed their rejection of criminal sanctions against same-sex attracted people.
The Primates recognise that the Christian church and within it the Anglican Communion have often acted in a way towards people on the basis of their sexual orientation that has caused deep hurt. Where this has happened they express their profound sorrow and affirm again that God’s love for every human being is the same, regardless of their sexuality, and that the church should never by its actions give any other impression.”
This came after a concerted campaign mounted by Jayne, in which she organised an open letter from 100+ senior Anglican leaders – including 20 Cathedral Deans and 8 retired bishops – to the Archbishops of Canterbury of York ahead of the 2016 Primates Meeting in Canterbury.
The letter was made available for all to sign retrospectively, and within a few days it had achieved 4700+ signatures from around the world.
Following the apology, a second open letter was sent on January 19th 2017 by 85 of the original signatures calling for actions rather than just words.
The two letters, ensuring apology from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates’ communique and Archbishop of York’s letter gained unprecedented media interest, that is listed in full here.
The press release for the original letter with 105 signatures has quotes from Vicky Beeching, the Dean of St Paul’s and Jayne Ozanne, whilst the press release for the second letter of 85 signatures includes quotes from the Ven David Newman, Archdeacon of Loughborough.