Bishop welcomes walk of repentance

I’m delighted to report that the former Bishop of Oxford, Richard Harries, has expressed his support for my pilgrimage of repentance for homophobia.

He said that the church needs to repent in relation to gay and lesbian people.

In an email that I received on Monday, Richard Harries said:

“It is very good that you are undertaking this pilgrimage of repentance. I very much hope it will have a wide influence. Repentance in the original Greek word means changing one’s mind, and rethinking one’s whole outlook in the light of God’s saving presence in Christ. That is what the church needs to do today in relation to gay and lesbian people.”

It is great to have Richard Harries’ support. I wish more church leaders would be prepared to take this sort of stance.

I have also been overwhelmed and deeply moved by the many messages of support I have received from a wide range of individuals and groups who have heard about my plans. They include a man whose Christian parents won’t accept homosexuality, a gay Methodist minister who used to be homophobic, a straight Muslim and a bisexual teenager. I thank God for the courage these people have given me as the date of my pilgrimage approaches.


8 comments so far

  1. Yvonne on

    Hi Symon,

    What a wonderful idea. I wish you all the best with your walk and want to thank you for changing your mind about LGBT people, and doing something so public and dramatic to demonstrate your change of heart. I think it’s really wonderful.

    I will publicise your walk to fellow Unitarians, who will I am sure also think it’s great.

  2. Symon on

    Thanks very much, Yvonne! I really appreciate your comments and your offer of publcising the walk to your fellow Unitarians. If any Unitarian church or group would like to help – either by adding their name to the list of supporters or by hosting me on the way – they’re very welcome to email me at

  3. Yvonne on

    Great – can you post that comment on my blogpost about your walk? Also I am taking a service for LGBT Unitarians in December – would you like to come?

    • Symon on

      Thanks, Yvonne. I’ll add a comment on your blog. And thanks for the invite for December. Please can you send me some details at Thanks!

  4. nick wilson young on

    well done symon. i’ll try to make it on 1 july. have tweeted to my (1600!) well-connected followers @NCVOForesight :). It’s beyond time the church grew up about homosexuality.

    • Yvonne on

      It’s beyond time the church grew up about homosexuality.

      Well said!

    • Symon on

      Thanks very much, Nick!

  5. […] has got the support of several church groups, and has even received a message of support from the former Bishop of Oxford Richard Harries. It’s a walk, though, not a run – he has allowed himself plenty of time as he will be […]

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