Anglicans, Homosexuality and Social Justice
May 5 and 6, 2006

a symposium with

Stephen Bates,

author of

A Church at War:
Anglicans and Homosexuality

The Most Rev TERENCE FINLAY, retired Archbishop of Toronto, and

Music provided by David Sereda

Sponsored by St Philip the Apostle Anglican Church
In partnership with the Cathedral Church of St James and the Church of the Redeemer

Friday 5 May, 7:00pm and
Saturday 6 May, 9:00am to 4:00pm
Church of the Redeemer, 162 Bloor St W at Avenue Road, Toronto

admission $40 ~ students, seniors and the un-waged $20.00

See below for registration information.


Friday May 5, 2006 7:00 pm registration
  7:30 pm welcome and opening remarks
artist: David Sereda
address - Stephen Bates
Saturday May 6, 2006 9:00 am registration
  9:30 am opening remarks
artist: David Sereda
address 1 - Archbishop Terence Finlay
address 2 - The Rev. Canon D. Graydon
  12:30 pm lunch (provided)
  1:30 pm artist: David Sereda
address 3 - Stephen Bates
plenary session
closing remarks / David Sereda


For many in the Anglican Communion, the conflict that has been raging internationally about the blessing of same sex relationships and the ordination of clergy in those relationships has been viewed as a matter of theology. Whether that theology is characterized as liberal (grounded in key gospel precepts) or conservative (grounded in Pauline and Old Testament injunctions), many Anglicans have seen this debate through the prism of Scripture.

But to adopt a Scripture-focused or even, more broadly, a theologically-focused approach is to distort and narrow our understanding both of same sex issues and of the motivations and tactics of those on the front lines of this conflict in our faith community. Such a perspective is also in danger of confusing means and ends by obscuring the fundamental Christian imperative for social justice. To broaden our perspectives, deepen our understanding and refocus ourselves on the goal of social justice, members of the congregation of Saint Philip the Apostle will be hosting a symposium featuring Stephen Bates, the UK-based author of A Church at War: Anglicans and Homosexuality , in partnership with the Cathedral Church of St. James and hosted by the Church of the Redeemer Anglican, 162 Bloor Street West on the evening of Friday May 5th and all day Saturday May 6th.

Mr. Bates is neither a priest nor a theologian; he is a journalist and religious affairs correspondent for the main international newspaper of the English-speaking world, the Guardian. It is from this perspective that he situates the Anglican conflict over homosexuality as just one site of a global battle within the faith between liberal and evangelical factions, a site, he argues, chosen by evangelicals for tactical reasons as part of a much more ambitious project to remake the Anglican faith and wrest control of its finances and institutions.

Retired Archbishop Terence Finlay will join Mr. Bates on the panel to provide those at the conference with a sense of how this conflict is unfolding in our own metropolitan area and how it is being negotiated from the parochial up to the international level. Archbishop Finlay will reflect upon the tensions resulting from local congregational battles over designating individual churches as welcoming or accepting spaces, the appointment of gay and lesbian clergy and the continuing battles in the international media between bishops of Episcopal sees.

The third member of the conference panel will be the Reverend Canon Douglas Graydon, priest-in-charge at Saint Philip the Apostle, who continues to live the day-to-day reality of ministering to a congregation as a member of a same sex couple. Canon Graydon will offer another badly needed perspective in broadening the debate. From both a practical and emotional perspective, he will speak to the ways that this conflict impacts his own daily life and that of his partner.

Renowned Canadian singer songwriter David Sereda will introduce each talk with his deeply personal and moving songs.

This symposium promises much both to those enmeshed in the ongoing conflict in our church and to those who have watched from the sidelines with concern, disgust or bewilderment. There will be opportunities throughout the proceedings to address comments, questions and concerns to panelists and fellow attendees.

By grounding the debate in the political, economic and human contexts in which it plays out, the organizing committee at St. Philip's hopes to provide people both inside and outside of the faith with a broader context in which to raise questions and concerns, for a battle that, all too often, is shorn of its broader meaning and is mistakenly portrayed as a debate simply over scripture or sexual behaviour.

We recommend that those interested pre-register for the event through...