Church Times - Fri 02 Oct 2009 - Page 17

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RANDELL 12 Worlebury Park Road Weston-super-Mare Somerset BS22 9RZ From the Revd Bruce Bridgewood Sir, - I hesitate to cross swords with Canon Nicholas Sagovsky, but I really think he is more concerned about being un-Anglican than about the health of his congregation.

Bishops' report is antiquated on intersex issue

In that volume, intersex was not listed in the index; the only reference seems to be in section 7.2.4, where an article by Holder is accepted without question, claiming that "Hermaphroditism is generally treated in early childhood by surgery and hormone therapy, whereby the patient is assigned to an unambiguous phenotype of either male or female." This statement is inadequate, as hermaphroditism is a very small part of the spectrum of these conditions. The real scandal, however, must be in 7.4.5, where the authors write: "To be a human person is to exist bodily as either male or female and to relate to God and other people as such." This can only be read as implying that individuals such as Caster Semenya, who are neither clearly male nor female, cannot relate to God.

Noah's Ark Zoo merits flak from humanists

From the Revd Michael Roberts Sir, - Perhaps the British Humanist Association (BHA) is justified in criticising the Noah's Ark Zoo near Bristol, and church groups should have been more forthright in their criticism (News, 25 September).

In defence of the swine-flu precautions

Why would Canon Sagovsky find giving communion in one kind troubling, when the Archbishops have acted in accordance with advice originating from the Chief Medical Officer, epidemiologists, medical scientists, and the doctors who will be overloaded if swine flu takes hold.

Traditionalists at Blackburn Cathedral

From Mr David Bambridge Sir, - It was reported (News, 18 September) that Blackburn Cathedral has now abandoned its policy of providing wafers consecrated by a male priest for those who cannot, in conscience, receive holy communion from a woman celebrant, however worthy, devout, and exemplary a person that woman might be.

Offensive book-title

From Fr David Johnson OGS Sir, - I find the title If You Meet George Herbert on the Road, Kill Him (Books, 25 September) offensive.

Fashion show 'obscene' in Mayfair church

From the Revd Robert Wilkinson Sir, - Last Easter, by accident, I was surprised and saddened to learn that the property committee of the diocese of London had decided to sell St Mark's, North Audley Street, to Hammer Holdings, who plan to convert it into a "Wellness Centre" - despite the unanimous rejection of the proposal by the City of Westminster's planning committee, and (apparently) two ancient covenants that reserve the land "for ecclesiastical purposes for ever". Vo g u e commented enthusiastically on how "fitting" it was for Malcolm Edwards to have created "two rope braids that twisted around the head, in a nod to an ecclesiastical halo, considering that the venue was St Mark's Church in central London".

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