• Andrew-Foreshew Cain and his husband, Stephen. (Twitter/Andrew Foreshew-Cain)Source: Twitter/Andrew Foreshew-Cain
Andrew Foreshew-Cain is stepping down from his role as parish priest and member of the General Synod.
Michaela Morgan

1 May 2017 - 1:18 PM  UPDATED 1 May 2017 - 1:18 PM

A vicar in the UK has announced that he is resigning from his London parish, labelling the Church of England an “institutional homophobic organisation.”

Andrew Foreshew-Cain was the first Church of England vicar to be in a same-sex marriage but says the church leadership “barely tolerated rather than fully accepted and celebrated” the gay clergy.

“I am looking forward to no longer feeling that a significant part of me is rejected by the organisation that I work for and have served faithfully,” he wrote.

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Foreshew-Cain says that when he married his partner he was told that if he left his parish, “then an active ministry officially in the Church of England would be over."

The 53-year-old is moving to Manchester with his partner Stephen Foreshew-Cain and says it’s unlikely he’ll be given another parish.

“I’m resigning my parishes and won’t be a licenced minister anymore and, because I’m married to Stephen, it was made clear to me that I wouldn’t get a licence for a new church,” he told the Independent.

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“The Church of England is an organisation which is primarily institutionally homophobic, which has policies and statements which are harmful to LGBTI people, and I’m looking forward to not being responsible to an organisation which treats gay and lesbian people quite as badly as it does," said Foreshew-Cain. 

In his letter to parishioners at St Mary with All Souls, Kilburn, and St James in West Hampstead, Foreshew-Cain expressed concerns about the future of the church. 

“The Church of England is a national church. If it wishes to become a sect and draw up its own rules and not be part of the national life, it is perfectly at liberty to do that, but it can’t continue to claim a role in the national life if it is so at variance with the basic moral principles of the country,” said Foreshew-Cain.