In a nutshell: Jayne Ozanne (1987) on eliminating discrimination in the Church of England
John’s alumna Jayne Ozanne works to ensure full inclusion of LGBTI Christians at every level of the Church of England. Here she sheds light on her recent progress
I work with religious organisations around the world to ensure that they embrace and celebrate the equality and diversity of all. I’m the Director of the newly-formed Ozanne Foundation — which is chaired by the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd Paul Bayes — working to bring together a group of influential Christians who want to actively support me in my work to eliminate any form of discrimination that is based on sexuality or gender.
The launch of the Foundation comes after a successful few years of campaigning to move the Church of England forward to becoming a more inclusive Church. My first initiative was in January 2016 when I spearheaded a letter to the Archbishops — countersigned by over 100 senior Anglicans — which sought an apology for the way in which LGBTI Christians had been treated by the Church. This resulted in a full and public apology by the Archbishop of Canterbury in front of the world’s media at the 2015 Primates Meeting.
A few months later I produced a book, Journeys in Grace and Truth, which set out why a range of senior Anglicans , including three bishops, had come to an accepting view on sexuality. This resource has emboldened many others to give voice to their own changing views on the subject.
‘my Private Members’ Motion last summer […] resulted in the Synod endorsing a statement by the medical professions and calling on the government for a ban on gay conversion therapy’
In February 2017 I led the revolt in General Synod (the national assembly of the Church of England), which saw lay and clergy members voting down a deeply unpopular report from the House of Bishops on same-sex relationships, which in turn resulted in the Archbishop of Canterbury talking about how the Church needed to adopt a new ‘radical Christian inclusion’. Perhaps most memorably, though, was the overwhelming support that the General Synod gave to my Private Members’ Motion last summer, which resulted in the Synod endorsing a statement by the medical professions and calling on the government for a ban on gay conversion therapy.
I am frequently approached by the national media for comment on sexuality and gender-related issues, and am being increasingly invited to speak at religious LGBTI gatherings overseas.