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An Honest Life- G. Hooper

February 22, 2016

AHLI met the author, briefly, many years ago and found him to be a man of depth and integrity.

Like me, he was the son of a shopkeeper and learned to flourish in the more middle-class atmosphere of the Church of England.

After service as a squadron leader he faces up to his sexuality and separates from his wife. He describes access to his daughters as times when ‘we had to spend those cold and wet Saturdays in museums, swimming pools.’

It’s interesting that the only bishops who attempted to limit his ministry were evangelical ones. Now that 17 diocesans and 70% of ordinands are evangelical it seems that things will get worse for LGBT clergy (and laity?)

He was awarded an OBE in 2000 ‘for services to the community in Newham, London.’


One Anglican Archbishop’s contribution was as positive as my bishop’s support had been three decades earlier: There is still much ignorance surrounding the debate on human sexuality, especially the formation of sexual identity and the role it plays in letting people grow up into balanced adults. I do not believe the Church understands the damage it is doing in its handling of issues over sexual identity. The wisdom gained from those involved in counselling and psychotherapy could give excellent insight.

Issues of sexual identity are fundamental to our under­standing of ourselves. Where these issues are unresolved the problems can be immense. For a person of faith this becomes even more an issue, especially if in a Church which gives conflicting messages about God’s love, forgiveness and accep­tance, while at the same time implying that to express sexual nature in any way other than a married heterosexual relationship is sinful and puts you outside the Church and its ministry. Help through counselling and psychotherapy, depending on what is appropriate, is one of the ways in which people can, and indeed have, sought help and I know of situa tions where this has helped enormously.

Professor Brian Thorne, a leading authority N centred counselling approach to therapy, w experience therapy had always led either to d Church or a radical shift in theological under surprise that those for whom the Church is (transitional object), those who, consciously look to the Church for solace or social si themselves as willing participants in the thera supervising therapist who trained under 11 similar caution:

The process is very painful, very complex generally the process is life-changing. I clients are people who have become shad they have been relating with themselves ai tutions. It is a very liberating process, but time. It is like a place where they really can are, and to be really accepted within the acceptable. They come to confront themseli have compromised themselves with — the and their sexuality. What brings them to th come from an internal growing awareness, outside and internal tension that they %vat they reach this point, there seems to b whatever their journey is, it’s never going tl they have left. It was light at the end of the h started happening by the time they start want it to happen; they are on the path.

The word ‘therapy’ has no verb in English, for which I am grateful; it cannot do anything to anybody, hence can better represent a process going on, observed perhaps, assisted perhaps, but not applied. The Greek noun from which therapy is derived means ‘a servant’, the Greek verb means ‘to wait’.

when you glimpse truth you can only go towards it.

Sin is our refusal to become who we truly are. Michael Mayne

 On burning boats Until you leave behind a chapter of your life, with no way of return, you are still hesitating, you can still draw back; conse­quently, your energy will be scattered, not focused. When you do let go, ‘Providence’ also moves, moves towards you with gifts. ‘Events’ begin to happen. Encounters surprise you with what you need.

Material assistance comes to you unexpectedly. None of these things could you have ‘dreamed up’. You can never be aware of what is waiting for you at the right moment. Goethe

As you come to realise that God is beckoning you to a greater hiddenness, do not be afraid of that invitation. Over the years you have allowed the voices that call you to action and great visibility to dominate your life. You still think, even against your best intuitions, that you need to do things and be seen in order to follow your vocation. But you are now discovering what God’s voice is saying, “Stay home, and trust that your life will be fruitful even when hidden.”

It is not going to be easy to listen to God’s call. Your insecurity, your self-doubt, and your great need for affir­mation make you lose trust in your inner voice and run away from yourself. But you know that God speaks to you through your inner voice and that you will find joy and peace only if you follow it. Henri Nowen

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From → Biography, Sexuality

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