Sam Margrave speaking at General Synod

A lay member of the General Synod of the Church of England has been threatened by the archbishops of Canterbury and York for challenging their narrative on the Living in Love and Faith process and the Scriptural integrity of their proposed same sex blessings, just as the church is set to debate their proposals for gay blessings.

“Me saying the Archbishop should resign or highlighting Peter Tatchell’s view or even shining a light on Jayne Ozanne making money out of this division is not abuse,” Mr. Margrave told Anglican.Ink.

“I’ve never been abusive to anyone. Simply saying sex outside canon b30 shouldn’t be lambasted,” he said.

On 2 February 2023 the Most Rev. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Most Rev. Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York “rebuked” Samuel Margrave, synod representative from Coventry, demanding he apologize for the content of tweets he had written over the past few weeks.

In their letter, which cites no statutory or ecclesial basis for their requests, they demand Mr. Margrave:

  • “apologise publicly for your language and the offence it has caused; 
  • moderate your language in future on social media so that it remains within the spirit of the Code of Conduct for Members of the General Synod; 
  • refrain from making generalised allegations of the behaviour of LGBTQI+ people.”

No examples of such offensive utterances by Mr. Margrave were provided, however. Nor have the archbishops the authority to expel him from the General Synod or repel him from Holy Communion, should he decline to meet their demands. “It’s just harassment now and trying to silence me,” noted.

At a demonstration outside of Lambeth Palace held on the evening of 23 January 2023, Archbishop Welby promised gay activists he would crack down on clergy whom activists believed “preach messages that harm LGBT people” so he could “deal with” the issue. Mr. Margrave, though a layman, appears to be the first victim of the archbishop’s promised purge of Bible-believing church leaders who dispute the new narrative that same-sex genital relations are not sin.

For restating the traditional Christian standard of marriage, and pointing out the logical and theological fallacies of gay and transgender activists in his social media posts, Mr. Margrave was reported to the police for committing a hate crime by his bishop, the Rt. Rev. Christopher Cocksworth of Coventry last week. The archbishops’ letter comes the Friday before the start of the February meeting of General Synod, which will take up the bishops’ calls for gay blessings on 8 Feb 2023. He has been the subject of death threats from gay activists in the past, and last year was given police protection to protect him from assault for his traditional moral views.

Mr. Margrave has declined to be intimidated by the archbishops’ demands, and will not apologize. He told Christian Concern:

“I am being thrown under the bus, excluded, and treated like a leper in the name of inclusivity. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are holding tight to their copy of Marx while leaving the Bible on a bookshelf.

“I will not apologise for speaking the truth. I do not believe I have done anything wrong. I have been honest, transparent and faithful.

“This letter is a thinly veiled and bullying threat for me to be silent or be removed from synod.  I feel incredibly let down as serious accusations have been made without providing any evidence. This is a clear example of overreach from the very top of the Church of England’s hierarchy.  

“Any conservative orthodox Christian beliefs are being pushed out of the Church of England. If it is me now, who will it be next? I am taking this stand because I do not want anyone else to be treated as I have.

“I believe the CofE has been politically infiltrated by Stonewall and others. The promotion of Queer Theory, the acceptance of Pride flags, and now reporting any vocal opposition to the police, bares all the hallmarks of Stonewall and a repressive regime that wants to silence biblical truth at any cost.

“I don’t hate anyone, this is not about hate, it has always been about truth and bringing positive change to the CofE.

“All I have wanted was to protect children and give a voice to parents by standing against the sexualisation and grooming of children, which was part of the manifesto I was elected to synod on.”