Page last updated at 14:51 GMT, Sunday, 13 July 2008 15:51 UK

Island's bishop speaks of gay row

Michael Scott-Joynt, Bishop of Winchester
The bishop has pastoral responsibility for the Channel Islands

The bishop who represents Anglicans in Jersey and Guernsey has said the row over gay clergy has damaged the church.

The debate over whether a gay bishop should have been elected in America five years ago is threatening to divide Anglicans across the world.

The Bishop of Winchester, the Right Reverend Michael Scott-Joynt, has pastoral responsibility for the Channel Islands.

He said the hurt caused to the church is impossible to overestimate.

Earlier this year Bishop Scott-Joynt also said that it would be important to "speak the truth in love" at the Lambeth Conference, the 10 yearly gathering of Anglican bishops which starts this week.

He said he still believed in the 1991 House of Bishop's decision that Christians in same-sex relationships should be made welcome in churches, but should not be invited to take up positions of leadership.

He said: "I see no future for the Anglican Communion as we know it, or for the Church of England as we know it, if either deserts this teaching."

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