Iona’s John Bell for Changing Attitude Ireland’s Synod Event
John Bell, a member of the Iona Community, Presbyterian minister, broadcaster, hymn–writer and international lecturer will be the Changing Attitude Ireland speaker at this year’s General Synod lunch–time session on Friday May 11 in Armagh.
He has chosen the title, “God, Delight and Diversity”, and plans briefly to explore three subjects: problematic approaches to scripture, the created order as diverse by design, and the need for the laity to have their intelligence, experience and aspirations inform the Church’s deliberations on sexuality.
Bell was largely responsible for the Church of Scotland’s most recent hymnal, and with his colleagues has produced songs and liturgical materials which are used and have been translated across the globe. He regularly speaks at the Greenbelt Festival on issues relating to scripture, spirituality and justice. His work has resulted in the conferring of several academic and ecclesiastical honours, most recently the Thomas Cramner Award for Worship from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Last year, in response to the story of the teenager Lizzie Lowe, who took her own life rather than tell her parents about her sexuality, John Bell publicly came out as a gay man, admitting that he had remained single in order to work without compromise as a public Christian.