St John –he of the Golden Mouth – has apparently relocated in Manchester, and become a member of the Church of England. He (or is it now She?) is sponsoring a play called ‘The Gospel according to Jesus, the Queen of Heaven’.
St Chrysostom’s Church , in Victoria Park, is a well known venue for LGBT Christians. Says Rectorene, Canon Ian Gomersall, on its website: St Joanna’s encourages ‘all who have significant relationships’ to ‘seek the blessing and prayers of the church in their relationships’. ‘I believe we probably sail close to the wind, but I think by avoiding the term ‘blessing’ we probably do not contravene the bishops’ statement.’
The play is a bold retelling of parts of the Christian story with a transgendered person (male to female) as its main character. It has transferred from the Edinburgh festival where it played (somewhat counter intuitively) to fascinated medical students in the Anatomy Lecture Theatre, Summerhall.
Mother Gomersall, as we must surely call him, is keen to cut a dash in advanced circles (and hopes for a suffragan bishopric). S/he will follow the success of ‘Jesus, Queen of Heaven’ with a play which boldly questions the species of the incarnation.
‘How do we know that Jesus was a human?’ s/he asks challengingly. ‘The Jesus whom Paul says redeems all creation must surely have included in itself every creature. As St Gregory Nazianzen has taught us: “What was not taken, was not healed”. In our next production Jesus will be played by a pantomime cow called Daisy. We hope it will be a great attraction for the children at Winterval.’
The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Revd Lily Savage, commented: ‘Canon Driscoll is helping the whole Church to re-envision our language about God.’ The Guardian reported that Driscoll and the author of the two plays were receiving police protection after a fatwa by a Salford imam.