A member of the Church of England’s General Synod was reported by his bishop to the police for allegedly causing ‘offence’ over promoting a Biblical view of sex and gender.
The Bishop of Coventry capitulated to pressure from LGBT campaigners by reporting lay member of Synod, Sam Margrave, to the police for an alleged ‘hate crime’ after Mr Margrave campaigned online against Queer Theory and the sexualisation and grooming of children.
It is believed to be the first time that such action has been taken against a general synod member for activity on their Twitter account.
After the report to West Midlands police, Mr Margrave received messages from the police saying, “If we do not hear from you today, we will visit your house.”
No further action to date has been taken against Mr Margrave, however he is concerned that a ‘non-crime hate incident’ may have been recorded against his name and he has said that he lives in constant fear of getting ‘the knock at the door.’
‘Christian incompatibility of Pride’
Mr Margrave, a former councillor who has been a lay member on the CofE’s governing body for over 10 years, has received death threats and faced constant harassment since he put forward a Private Members’ Motion (PMM) for the July 2022 general synod entitled a: ‘Declaration of Christian Incompatibility of Pride.’ Submitting the PMM, after receiving the most votes in the Coventry diocese for election to general synod, Mr Margrave’s commitments involved a pledge to run a campaign “against sexualisation of children.”
Listed in Mr Margrave’s manifesto was also a commitment to campaign for synod to do more to end Christian persecution worldwide. He also pledged to “oppose aggressive secularisation and calls to abolish Churches’ Charitable status” and “continue to speak on difficult issues.”
In two PMM’s submitted, he asked bishops to:
- raise concerns put to me by parents and professionals about images that show the sexualisation and grooming of children.
- enforce laws in Churches regarding the use of flags.
- answer questions about Queer theory and paedophilia.
- consider whether Pride is compatible with the Christian faith.
Mr Margrave followed up his submission with a thread of tweets seeking to communicate and expand upon the declaration.
However, Mr Margrave has since received multiple death threats. He has also received abuse from clergy, members of Inclusive Church and other LGBT campaigners, which has seen him forced to install CCTV and a panic alarm at his house. He also needed security while attending last year’s general synod.
By addressing the growing influence of Queer Theory in the CofE, Mr Margrave has been accused of calling gay people paedophiles, which he categorically denies.
Challenging ‘Queer Theory’
Queer Theory emerged in the 1970s and was prefigured by the revolutionary anti-family Marxism of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF). The GLF pushed the sexualisation of children as part of its case for banning therapy for homosexuality, and attacking the traditional family. The GLF specifically targeted Christianity and Judaism with the idea of ‘smashing heteronormativity’ – the view that relationships should be between a man and a woman. Gayle Rubin, an influential founder of Queer Theory, also believed paedophilia was a sexual orientation.
Speaking out against LGBT pride events, Mr Margrave is raising what he sees as serious safeguarding concerns as children are often encouraged to attend such events, despite their sexually explicit nature.
There is an abundance of psychological studies concluding that children exposed to sexually explicit content at an early age are more likely to develop addictions and sexual violence and behavioural disorders.
Therefore, by flying Pride flags from its buildings, for example at Ely Cathedral, Mr Margrave is challenging how the CofE is aligning itself with a political and sexualised ideology and event that causes children harm.
Pride harmful to children
Mr Margrave has tweeted that his motive,
“Is to call the Church & Bishops to stand up for biblical teaching, & the Canons of the church, not endorse sin or send messages that harm people by suggesting God agrees with an agenda that is incompatible with Christianity. Pride is the nation’s next Jimmy Savile.”
After watching Netflix’s documentary on Jimmy Savile, Mr Margrave drew parallels between those who are bullied and silenced for questioning LGBT ideology and Pride events, and those who raised alarm about Savile only to be repeatedly ignored and ostracised. Despite explanations and evidence, Mr Margrave has been met with a constant wave of abuse for the comments he posted, sent numerous images of dead bodies, and has also received disturbing emails and phone calls day and night.
When he attended general synod in July 2022, a police officer installed a panic alarm on Mr Margrave’s phone, and he had to have protection due to the level of threat and concerns for his safety.
Mr Margrave also says that at a past synod meeting another synod member screamed at him in the corridor.
Following the synod, Mr Margrave, also threatened a motion of no confidence in the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, after accusing him of “submitting to culture over Christ” after he refused to uphold the Biblical definition of marriage at the Lambeth conference.
Report to police
Ostracised ever since, Mr Margrave has said he has had to withdraw from going to church events as he doesn’t want others targeted for the stand he has taken on a range of moral issues.
Despite this, Mr Margrave has continued to speak out on Twitter which has led to complaints about him to the Bishop of Coventry and calls for him to be removed from general synod.
Without a proper investigation or providing Mr Margrave with details of alleged complaints made, the Bishop sent the following correspondence which said:
“The Diocesan Secretary has had no option, in view of a number of complaints received, to report your offending tweets to the West Midlands Police and is in continuing conversation with them. They have advised her that they have been able to speak to you but that you continue to deny you have done anything wrong.”
Mr Margrave believes there is a need for a proper complaints investigation to be undertaken so that he can respond to complaints made against him and any police investigation.
Mr Margrave has a number of disabilities which the diocese has supported him with for a number of years, but this support appears to have now been withdrawn.
‘You cannot challenge Pride’
Commenting on what has happened to him since June 2022, Mr Margrave said: “I am shocked, appalled and deeply hurt that the Bishop and diocese has resorted to reporting me to the police and has essentially thrown me under the bus.
“For standing against the sexualisation of children and the secularisation of the CofE, I have been repeatedly harassed and threatened. The impact on my well-being has been immense and the people in the Church who should be supporting me the most have closed ranks against me.
“I believe the CofE has been politically infiltrated by Stonewall and others. The promotion of Queer Theory, the acceptance of Pride flags, and now reporting any vocal opposition to the police, bares all the hallmarks of Stonewall and a repressive regime that wants to silence biblical truth at any cost.
“All I have wanted was to protect children and give a voice to parents by standing against the sexualisation and grooming of children, which was part of the manifesto I was elected on.
“I don’t hate anyone, this is not about hate, it has always been about truth and bringing positive change to the CofE.
“There is no natural justice and no complaints process within the Church to look at these matters. I’ve been bullied for representing people, and especially parents, in the diocese who have raised concerns with me.
“Many people who have attacked me are unable to distinguish between homosexual people and LGBTQ pride. They are two separate things. There are many people with same sex attraction who are totally opposed to what happens at Pride parades. One of the stated aims of the ‘Pride’ movement is to celebrate a wide variety of sexual lifestyles, which are diametrically opposed to Christian sexual ethics and doctrine of the Church of England.
“Anyone who attends a ‘Pride’ event risks being exposed to obscenities. That is self-evidently harmful for children and in a free, responsible and truly loving society we must be free to say that and raise concern without fear.
“It appears you simply cannot challenge or question Queer Theory and Pride events without serious consequences and even threats to your life.
“The CofE should be supporting me in raising this, not reporting me to the police. The CofE is supposed to be a prophetic voice on issues of morality, but instead they are aggressively siding with the world rather than scripture.
“I could cave into the pressure and go quiet, but I believe it will be more harmful if I do not speak out on what has happened and how I have been treated.”