Churches unite against homophobic leaflet: Ely clergy “ shocked and disappointed” to read them

PUBLISHED: 17:02 22 May 2014 | UPDATED: 17:24 22 May 2014

Canon Alan Hargrave

Canon Alan Hargrave

Archant

The ministers of Ely’s churches have come together to express their outrage at homophobic leaflets which have been distributed in the city.

Anti-gay leaflets, which describe homosexuality as a “cult”, “not natural” and “belonging to the culture of death”, were put through letterboxes in Ely earlier this month.

The anonymous pamphlets are believed to be the work of a religious zealot and are being treated by police as a potential “hate incident”.

A letter condemning the pamphlets has been signed by religious leaders including the Dean of Ely Mark Bonney and chair of Churches Together in Ely John Marshall.

The other figures to sign the letter are Karl Relton, Pastor of the Countess Free Church; Joanne Sherwood, Minister of Ely Methodist Church; Chris Hill, Vicar of St Mary’s Parish Church; Giles Cornell, Pastor of The Lighthouse fellowship; Billy Onen, Pastor of The Olive Tree Fellowship; Tony Shryane, Priest at St Etheldreda’s Roman Catholic Church, Rev. Keith Waters

New Connexions Free Church and Alan Hargrave, Canon Missioner, at Ely Cathedral.

Canon Hargrave said the matter was discussed at a meeting of the churches last week.

He said: “As ministers of churches in Ely we were shocked and disappointed to read of the homophobic leaflets being distributed around Ely, which appear to come from the church.

“The leaflet does not, in fact, originate from any of our churches. Whilst the issue of homosexuality is one on which Christians are not all agreed, we wish to express the fact that people of homosexual orientation are welcome in all of our churches.”

A Cambridgeshire police spokesman said: “We are not treating this matter as a crime but as a potential hate incident.

“We are liaising with local and national partners about the leaflets and enquiries are ongoing.”

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