A Church of England minister has come under fire for holding an “LGBT+ Service” to mark the city’s homosexual pride celebrations.
Revd Canon Dr Neal Barnes, Vicar of Hull Minster, held an evening service on 21 July to coincide with Pride in Hull and the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967.
The event included an address by Canon Rachel Mann, a transsexual activist who lives as a woman. Mann was born male but describes himself as a lesbian.
After the service was announced, Revd Melvin Tinker, Vicar of St John Newland, Hull, warned it would send the message that God “approves of homosexual, lesbian and trans relationships as much as heterosexual ones”.
Revd Tinker lamented the fact that Hull, which was known historically as the ‘garden of the Lord’ because of the predominance of evangelicals, has come to a place where its cathedral celebrates what is morally wrong.
He added that some clergy “cannot distinguish vice from virtue” and replace “Christ who came preaching ‘repentance for the Kingdom of God is near’ with a fake Christ who affirms everything and demands nothing”.
In 2015, Revd Tinker spoke out when another Church of England minister gave a prayer of blessing at the beginning of a homosexual festival outside York Minster.
At the time Revd Tinker noted Jesus’ assertion of God’s instruction to: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’”.
He said that involves loving God’s standards in the Bible. He added that means “there are certain things you can’t love if you’re going to love God”.