A row has broken out because some of the GAFCON primates and some of the GFSA Steering Committee are unhappy at the appointment of David Monteith as the next dean of Canterbury. The reason these groups are unhappy is because David is in a civil partnership.
I am writing this as a member of the Changing Attitude England steering committee, and also as a member of David’s congregation at Leicester Cathedral, where he has been dean since 2013 and was canon chancellor before that.
What these GAFCON / GFSA people are missing is the David is the best person for the job. He is a man of God, with deep faith and prayer life and an excellent preacher. He represents the best of the Church of England, in his care for people and his bold proclamation of the Gospel of Christ.
David is also the person who led the reinterment of Richard III as not just a national event, but a worldwide one. He brought church to the world. How many of the primates could have achieved what he did?
I could describe at length the millions of pounds of fundraising he has achieved, the three major building projects that he has led or the effect his work at the Cathedral has had on rejuvenating the historical quarter of the city. I could mention the millions of pounds that the cathedral now contributes to the local economy or the jobs that have been created. But I am sure David would prefer that I mention the people who have been brought to Christ through his ministry or the work on promoting choral music to the glory of God.
In Leicester we always knew he was destined for greater cathedrals than our small one. He will be missed not only by the cathedral community and the wider diocese, but by the city and county as well. God has called him to a new path. Canterbury, you are lucky to get him.