A CHURCH in NSW has taken to Facebook to beg for the forgiveness of LGBTI people.

The Anglican Parish of Gosford on the Central Coast put up the message “LGBTIQ people please forgive us” on its famous sign last week and posted a photo to Facebook.

[showads ad=MREC] Father Rod Bower, the Venerable Archdeacon of the Central Coast, was responsible for the sign and is no stranger to LGBTI issues.

“The issue of human sexuality is one of the major issues in the Anglican community,” he told the Star Observer.

“I think it would be fair to say this issue has the potential to cause a schism in the Anglican community.

“The ongoing debate we’re having is damaging to gay and lesbian people.”

Bower said he was inspired by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s recent admission and apology to the LGBTI community.

“For me it’s a constant source of deep sadness, the number of people who are persecuted for their sexuality,” Welby said.

Bower said: “I thought it was interesting the Archbishop of Canterbury came out and said sorry.

“He doesn’t have the power of a Pope and he can’t tell people what to do in that sense.”

Bower added that the debate between the progressive and conservative elements of the Anglican community, particularly in Africa and closer to home in Sydney were sending a mixed message to LGBTI people.

“We’re sending a message to the gay and lesbian community, that no matter what we say, while we oppose marriage equality, we are saying one thing and sending an entirely different reaction,” he said.

Gosford Anglican Church Father Fr Rod Bower

He believes the divide in the Anglican church is not only hurtful to LGBTI people but also to the Anglican community itself.

“We are also self harming, by having an inadequate theology of human sexuality and using poor biblical contextual scholarship,” he said.

“People ask me what the Bible says about homosexuality and it says nothing.”

Bower said his church in Gosford was about “radical inclusivity” and a “safe place for gays and lesbians to explore their spirituality”.

“It’s good for us in the sense, because to have integrity you have to be who you are,” he said.

“To have integrity is good.”

View the full Facebook post below:

[fb_embed_post href=”https://www.facebook.com/anggos/posts/1066942186669747:0/” width=”550″/]

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