Unitarians may no longer use Anglican cathedral
From today's The Times of London:
CHESTER CATHEDRAL has denounced the Unitarian Church for heretical views and banned its ministers and members from holding their annual service there.
The service, the high point of the Unitarian Church’s General Assembly, has been held three times at Chester since 2001. It has also taken place at Guildford Cathedral. But Chester Cathedral has rescinded its booking after a “review” of the cathedral statutes and the doctrines of the Church of England and the Unitarian Church.
The decision by the Dean and Chapter, which consists of laity as well as clergy, has caused dismay among Unitarians. One said: “In the entrance to Chester Cathedral there are signs saying ‘welcome’ in 26 languages. A Unitarian could be forgiven for doubting their sincerity.”
Unitarians have been excluded after the Bishop of Chester, the Right Rev Dr Peter Forster, a leading evangelical, received a complaint about the unorthodox beliefs of some Unitarians.
He asked Canon Christopher Burkett, his chaplain and a residentiary canon at the cathedral, to carry out a review. Canon Burkett concluded that the Unitarian service was in breach of the cathedral statutes, which stipulate that worship must be in accordance with the doctrines of the Church of England. Read the whole thing here.
We are used to hearing that some place like Grace Cathedral in San Francisco or St. John the Divine in New York City has hosted a non-Christian worship service, but this is the first time I can recall an Anglican church having the courage to bring such folly to an end. Well done, Bishop Forster.