Woodlands Church Against Gay Marriage

Senior pastor of popular student church speaks out against gay marriage in leaked email

Woodlands Church, best known for its free student lunches, is facing backlash over a recently leaked email which argued against gay marriage.

In the email the Senior Leader of the church Dave Mitchell argues homosexual relationships are not equivalent to heterosexual relationships and to change the definition of marriage to include homosexual couples would be “a bit like calling baseball ’rounders’!”

Mitchell also states the recent pressure to allow gay marriage is partially motivated by society feeling guilty about “the intolerance and cruelty [shown] towards gay and lesbian people in our history”.

Dave Mitchell: Gay marriage “like calling baseball rounders”

Mitchell goes on to claim heterosexual marriage is harder than homosexual relationships, due to the “‘otherness’ of male and female”. Whilst Mitchell condemns a patriarchal view of women, he states ‘significant differences’ between the two sexes do exist and to relegate the differences to ‘biological function only’ is wrong.

This lack of difference, according to Mitchell, is what makes homosexual relationships undeserving of the term ‘marriage’. Instead, Mitchell prefers to refer to them as ‘friendships’.

The email was sent in response to queries about the recent successful vote on gay marriage in parliament. In outlining the Church’s position on the matter, Mitchell states “things that may be legal…(or even endorsed by society) are not things that the Church should preach.”

Students queue up for a free Woodies lunch
Photo: cliftonpeople.co.uk

The email, circulated via the Church’s mailing list, was sent to a large number of both current and former students, some of whom were extremely disappointed by the Church’s position.

One student who received the email told The Tab, “I was upset to find this email in my inbox. Not only does it devalue homosexual relationships but it is also suggesting men are not equal to women.”

“No wonder the CU at Bristol had similar ideas when this is one of the main student churches for the university.”

The Christian Union, who themselves came under fire at the end of last year for banning female speakers, are not directly affiliated with Woodlands or Dave Mitchell and have declined to comment on the email.

For years, ‘Woodies’ has been a popular church for Bristol students, with hundreds attending service every Sunday. However, with many students opposing Mitchell’s views, the church’s reputation seems set to suffer.