Gay marriage and God: what we need now is outrageous grace


Can you love and forgive someone who appears to hate you? That is a question many of us are having to answer right now, as explored in this piece for the
Independent on Sunday.

Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high … there’s a place where people live together peacefully, whatever their differences. That is what is represented by the six-colour flag that has become such a potent symbol in recent days. But how do we get there?

The Reverend Sally Hitchiner has an answer that is breathtakingly audacious. “We can’t move forward until lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people forgive their oppressors. That is the big challenge facing the LGBT community. We are never going to reach Utopia until we all get there.”

Forgive their oppressors? That is an outrageous thing for a priest to say, until you know more about her – and not just because the Church has officially condemned gay people for centuries.

Continue reading “Gay marriage and God: what we need now is outrageous grace”

The cooks, the thief taker, the Olympians & the survivor

‘Tis the season to look back, apparently, so I’ve been looking back on some of the interviews I’ve done this year for the Sunday Telegraph. They include the cooks Clarissa Dickson-Wright and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall neither of whom cooked me anything, unfortunately. A nice piece of cake was offered by Cormac Murphy O’Connor, former Archbishop of Westminster. The former head of the Metropolitan Police Lord Stevens handed me a piece of paper with some stunning statistics about low morale in the ranks. The Olympics and Paralympics were a source of closure after 7/7 for the Games Maker Dr Andrew Hartle. On the other hand, Rebecca Adlington seemed glad it was all over. The Olympic closing ceremony was organised by Es Devlin and Kim Gavin. It featured Ray Davies of the Kinks. The architect Zaha Hadid designed the Aquatics Centre but told me she hadn’t been offered a single ticket. Talking of generosity, Joan Bakewell said she would not be leaving any of her money to her children. But for me, the most stunning interview of the year so far was with Juliana Buhring who survived the Children of God and is now in the final stages of attempting to become the first woman to cycle solo around the world.