Dear Cathedral Whanau
It is our great joy that Reverend David Rowe has accepted the call to join you in July as Dean of the Cathedral. We are grateful to him and Pixie for making this commitment to serve you in this next season.
As we lead into General Synod where Motion 29 on the blessing of same-sex relationships will be debated, we felt that it is important to clarify some conversations which we understand have been taking place around David’s position on this issue.
In 2016 David added his name as a signatory to an open letter encouraging the House of Bishops of the Church of England to re-affirm the primacy of heterosexual relationships. You may hear something about this in the media this week.
As we as Bishops, along with your Nomination team and the wider Board of Nomination, discerned God’s call on David, we had extensive conversations about the openess and dialogue which Motion 29 encourages. David shared his own experience of initiating intentional dialogue on this issue within his past mission and ministry contexts, and within his pastoral ministry of feeling the pain of both those who have felt excluded from the Church, and those who struggle out of their perceived faithfulness to God.
In our conversations with David he has noted that he is on a journey and is not in a fixed position around this issue. As we have been on the Motion 29 journey as Bishops we have been struck many times with how often we are asked to allow differences of opinion to co-exist, and this indeed is what Motion 29 is asking us to do going forward.
We as the discernment team feel confident in David’s ability to continue to model true community which enables a plurality of views. We know he is looking forward to journeying in worship and discipleship with you all and we are looking forward with great excitement to what God has in store for the Cathedral.
+Justin and +Eleanor