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24 Community STUDYING the Bible in its full

context can lead to a very different view of same-sex relationships than that traditionally held by the Church, the Archbishop of Wales said at a meeting of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales, held at Lampeter on Wednesday (Sept 14).

In his final address to the

Governing Body, Dr Barry Morgan responded to claims that he and his fellow bishops had been ‘swayed by the liberal culture of our age’ and ‘ignored Holy Scripture’ in issuing prayers earlier this year that could be said with same-sex couples following their civil partnership or marriage. He showed how the Bible

had more than one view on homosexuality, as well as other important issues, as the authors of

its books developed and changed their opinions. To understand God’s will, he suggested, it meant seeing the different views in the context of the Bible as a whole, and, in particular, the ministry of Jesus. Dr Morgan, who will retire in

January, said: “It absolutely will not do to quote texts from parts of the Bible in a simplistic way without reference to their contexts. One has to treat the Bible as a whole and discern, often through stories, the direction in which it is leading. Holy Scripture, in other words, contains not just ethical injunctions but stories, and stories convey truth about people’s understanding of God. After all, Jesus spent most of His life telling stories to get people to understand the nature and character of God.” He

compared biblical interpretations of same-sex

relationships with those of slavery – a practice once defended by the Church. As opinions on that changed, he suggested, so may the Church’s view on same-sex relationships. “In spite of all the passages in

favour of slavery, when you examine the Scriptures as a whole and the ministry of Jesus in particular, you realise it is about freedom from all that diminishes and dehumanises people. No Christian I hope would today argue that slavery is good, but for nineteen centuries the Church accepted it and defended it. God through His Holy Spirit has led us into the truth of seeing things in a totally different way today and we are rightly horrified when we read about people who have been kept as slaves by others. “What all this amounts to is

that one cannot argue that there is one accepted traditional way of interpreting Scripture that is true and orthodox and all else is modern revisionism, culturally conditioned. Scripture itself is diverse and theological views held in some biblical books are reshaped in the light of experience by other writers… “So taking the Bible as a whole

and taking what it says very seriously may lead us into a very different view of same-sex relationships than the one traditionally upheld by the Church… “Given that each of the

Supporting same-sex marriage: ‘Taking Holy Scripture seriously means paying attention to Jesus’ ministry of inclusivity’

passages purported to be about homosexuality can be interpreted in more than one way, we come to the


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Archbishop supports same-sex marriage Rejected simplistic reading of Bible: Archbishop Barry Morgan

fundamental question as to whether taking the Bible as a whole, we can come to the same conclusions about committed, faithful, loving, same- sex relationships as we did about slavery. “We are not thereby abandoning

the Bible but trying to interpret it in a way that is consistent with the main thrust of the ministry of Jesus, who went out of His way to minister to those who were excluded, marginalised, and abandoned by His society because they were regarded as impure and unholy by the religious leaders of His day, either because of their gender, age, morality or sexuality. Taking Holy Scripture seriously means paying attention to Jesus’ ministry of inclusivity.”

The Archbishop concluded his

address by quoting from a book edited by Andrew Davidson, called Amazing Love: “We are most truly ourselves when we live for others and we gain life not by clutching to it but by giving it away. Living for others underlines the truest meaning of sexuality. Christians have discovered that most people flourish best when this living for others finds its focus in a commitment to one other person: when a couple make a lifelong commitment within which sex properly belongs.” He said: “Those of us who

were or are married have found that to be the case. Why would we want to deny such a possibility for those who are attracted to their own gender?”

Photographer visits Aberystwyth to continue RNLI project Jack Lowe: With his vintage camera

to another seven Welsh stations from Penarth to Aberystwyth. Grandson of Dad’s Army actor,

Arthur Lowe, Jack has admired the RNLI since he was a little boy. He says the project allows him to ‘follow his heart’. The talented photographer has

been a lifelong supporter of the charity, joining Storm Force (the RNLI’s club for children) at the age of eight and raising over £6,000 for charity by completing the Great North Run three years in a row. Photography has also been a strong passion of his, ever since he received a Kodak camera from his grandma when he was nine. As part of the RNLI Lifeboat Station


lifelong RNLI enthusiast capturing stunning shots of lifeboat crew with a photographic technique from the 19th century will be focusing his lens on Aberystwyth RNLI. On Saturday, September 24, Jack

Lowe will be welcomed with open arms at the lifeboat station and the public are welcome to visit and to see Jack in

action. He is undertaking an ambitious

project to visit all 237 RNLI lifeboat stations in the UK and Republic of Ireland, capturing stunning glass images along the way. Earlier this year he photographed crew members at seven lifeboat stations in South and West Wales and now he is bringing his Victorian camera and developing equipment back

Project, Jack plans to visit all 237 RNLI lifeboat stations, photographing the breath-taking views from each station along with the crew members. He will be using a Wet Plate Collodion, a Victorian process that allows him to record stunning images on glass. The project is predicted to take approximately five years to complete. Crew Member Paul McCann said:

“The crew are really looking forward to having Jack visit the station. It’s a

once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of something like this, some crew are cutting their holidays short to ensure they are here. We are also excited about the talk the night before at the National Library which will kick off the weekend.” Jack says: “I’ve been looking

forward to bringing The Lifeboat Station Project back to Wales ever since my first visit in March. It’ll be great to experience the warm Welsh welcome once again and to add to the growing collection of photographs documenting the RNLI volunteers in this stunning part of the world.” His unique glass photographs are to

be developed in a decommissioned NHS ambulance, which he purchased on eBay and transformed into a mobile darkroom. On this leg of his trip, he will be visiting Penarth, Horton and Port Eynon, Little and Broad Haven, Fishguard, Cardigan, New Quay and Aberystwyth RNLI lifeboat stations. Next Friday (Sept 23), Jack will give a talk about the Lifeboat Project at the National Library in Aberystwyth. Jack added: “From an early age I knew I wanted to either be a

photographer or a lifeboat crew member. This trip has given me the opportunity to fulfil both my dreams. It’s fantastic to see how many people have been so interested and engaged with the project. “Some of the images I have

captured so far have been regarded as mesmerising and have even rendered some crew members to tears!” He will return to visit the remainder

of the Welsh lifeboat stations in the future. You will be able to check the

confirmed times of the itinerary by following the link to the Project’s interactive Mission Map: You can also follow Jack’s RNLI

photographic mission on Facebook (, on Twitter


or on the Project’s dedicated site ( Anyone interested in attending

Jack’s talk in Aberystwyth next Friday (Sept 23) can book now to reserve a seat at EGMIHK. Admission costs £6 with a percentage of proceeds donated to the RNLI charity.

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