Dozens of government ministers and thousands of civil servants will attend the Whitehall Carol Service at Westminster Abbey this Christmas.
As well as readings from Cabinet members, they will also hear from the Right Reverend Sandy Millar, who is leading the service, a man who has previously referred to a "speciously sophisticated manifestation of evil" that threatens the church, widely interpreted as the acceptance of homosexual ministers.
Bishop Millar, a now retired Anglican bishop, is best known for his time as Vicar at the Holy Trinity Brompton, where the Alpha Course, a 10-week introduction to Christianity, began. It is now taught all over the world.
The gay Labour MP Chris Bryant criticised the decision to let him lead the service. "It's a shame that someone with such narrow views should be leading the carol service this year," he said. "I respect him, he's entitled to have his own views but it's an odd choice. This sort of event is to bring people together not create divisions. It's depressing that so much of the church of England is obsessed with homosexuality. Jesus, that we aware of, never said a word about the matter." Read more