St Albans Cathedral Dean claims he was refused promotion because he is gay

The Very Reverend Dr Jeffrey John reads a prayer at the 100 year commemoration of the Battle of Verd

The Very Reverend Dr Jeffrey John reads a prayer at the 100 year commemoration of the Battle of Verdun with the tree grown from a conker taken from the battlefield. - Credit: Archant

The Dean of St Albans Cathedral claims he has been passed over for promotion because of his sexuality.

The Very Rev Dr Jeffrey John had applied to become the Bishop of Llandaff, but claims the discussion around his candidacy has been marred by homophobic remarks and hypocrisy.

In a letter to the Bishop of Swansea, Dr John said: “In the course of discussion a number of homophobic remarks were made and were left unchecked and unreprimanded by the chair. Much more importantly, the only arguments adduced against my appointment – in particular by two of the bishops - were directly related to my homosexuality and/or civil partnership – namely that my appointment would bring unwelcome and unsettling publicity to the diocese.”

Despite the support of many parishioners and electors, the Bishop has apparently said Dr John is no longer to be considered.

Dr John says this action “is a clear and ludicrous breach of process, and a further insult to the people of the diocese, and very many others who took the trouble to contribute their view”.

He has now called for the appointment of a new bishop to be delayed until there has been an open and honest examination of the appointment process.

In a statement released without the dean’s knowledge, a cathedral spokesperson said: “We are aware that Jeffrey has been under consideration for the position of Bishop of Llandaff.

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“The fact that it appears Jeffrey’s sexuality and civil partnership have been used against him in the selection process is wholly wrong and it is only right that the bishops in Wales review the process before making an appointment.”

The Bishop of Swansea and Brecon was unavailable for comment.