A lesbian and gay Christian group has been barred from holding a service at a cathedral in the United Kingdom, according to the Press Association. Organizers were hoping that Canon Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Anglican bishop, would preach at the service at England's Manchester Cathedral. But the cathedral has "reluctantly withdrawn its permission" for the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement to hold the service, scheduled for October 26. The action was taken, it said in a statement, "in the light of sensitivities and timing in relation to the current debates in the Church of England and the Anglican Communion." The service was to mark the end of a three-day conference at Manchester University held by the LGCM.
"The decision of the chapter to exclude lesbian and gay Christians from worship will cause serious hurt to all people of goodwill," said the Reverend Richard Kirker, general secretary of the LGCM. "Prayer and praise are the joyful duty of all God's people and, along with all Christian organizations, forms the bedrock of our gathering. It is horrifying to think that any person, no matter what their views on human sexuality, might welcome this ban on what is a sacred obligation for all Christians."