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Kilburn vicar’s LGBT flags back up after second ‘homophobic attack’

PUBLISHED: 11:31 20 October 2016 | UPDATED: 13:04 20 October 2016

Fr Andrew Foreshew-Cain with husband Stephen

Fr Andrew Foreshew-Cain with husband Stephen

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A Kilburn vicar has said gay people will be victims of homophobic abuse while the Church ‘still pursues the line that LGBT people are a problem’

The LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) and trans flags are flying once again, having been ripped down twiceThe LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) and trans flags are flying once again, having been ripped down twice

Father Andrew Foreshew-Cain has spoken out after two rainbow flags on top of his church St James’ in Sheriff Road, West Hampstead, have been ripped down twice.

The vicar, who is also attached to St Mary’s with All Souls church in Kilburn, has since proudly put back the flags, which symbolises the LGBT community.

CCTV footage shows two men ripping down the flags the first time it happened and Fr Foreshew-Cain believes it was a targeted “homophobic attack” on his church’s open and inclusive values.

Fr Foreshew-Cain, who was the second gay vicar in the country to marry his partner at a ceremony in June 2014, said: “Whilst the church still actively pursues the line that LGBT people are a problem and an ‘issue’ we will always be targets for those who are less sophisticated and nuanced in their attacks.

“I am fed up with the collusion of the church hierarchy in these sort of attitudes.

“Some use a particular brand of theology to demean us, some do it with verbal abuse and acts of violence.

“It all comes from the same place of fear at loss of privilege and hatred for difference.

“It is time the church... showed true repentance by change of heart.”

Fr Foreshew-Cain added he has been the victim of two other homophobic attacks this month as he had insults hurled at him in Liverpool because he was wearing a Pride lapel pin.

The police are also investigating hate mail sent to him from a Christian because of his sexuality.

A Church of England spokesman gave a long statement describing how “the Church of England has been clear for more than 20 years that LGBT people should be welcomed in our churches.”

He said: “Following the conclusion of the shared conversations process, involving 13,000 people across the Church of England, discussions on issues of sexuality took place at the College of Bishops’ September meeting as part of a new process of episcopal discernment.

“This process of discernment will continue during the meetings of the House of Bishops in November and December of this year and in January next year at the next meeting of the College of Bishops. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have invited some bishops to take forward work on sexuality to assist the episcopal discernment process.”

Church of England member Nic Tall has set up a fundraising page for Inclusive Church, a pro-LGBT organisation, in response to the attacks on St James’ church.

Church of England member Nic Tall has set up a fundraising page for Inclusive Church, a pro-LGBT organisation, in response to the attacks on St James’ church.

To make a donation visit here.

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