City of London parish breaks relations with those who reject the Biblical teachings on human sexuality
One of London’s largest parishes has withdrawn from participation in its deanery over apostasy in the ranks of the local clergy. On 4 December 2017 the rector of St Helen’s Bishopsgate, the Rev. William Taylor, wrote to the dean of the City of London the Rev. Oliver Ross saying his congregation was compelled to take a stand in support of the truth of the Gospels.
During the tenure of its former rector, the Rev. Dick Lucas, who served the parish from 1961 to 1998, St Helen’s became one of the most dynamic and influential congregations in the Church of England. Located in the City of London away from most residential districts, the parish draws worshippers to its three Sundays services from across the Southeast and has an active weekday ministry to workers in the financial services industry.
The congregation has been in the forefront of the evangelical reform movement in the Church of England and has planted or revitalized almost a dozen mission congregations under Mr. Taylor’s leadership.
The stance of St Helen’s towards the issues facing the Church of England is not shared by some of its fellow churches in the City, with some taking an activist line in support of gay and lesbian issues.
In his letter, Mr. Taylor notes the conversations held within the Church of England and locally on issues surrounding sexual practice. Scripture was “clear that God said what He said and meant what He said in the Bible, and that He demands that this teaching be taken seriously.”
Marriage, as defined by God in Scripture as being between one man and one woman was not a “secondary matter” or a topic over which Christians can “agree to disagree”, he wrote.
Accordingly, “’We (the clergy, wardens and PCCof St Helen’s) no longer consider these church leaders who have ceased to ‘believe and uphold the Christian faith Church of England has received it’ to be ‘walking together’ with us in any meaningful partnership.”
The congregation would not worship with the errant clergy at deanery functions nor participate in joint events or anything that implies “partnership in the gospel.”