Dr Jeffrey John, who stood down from his appointment as Bishop of Reading last July, amidst a storm of controversy over his sexuality, was formally installed as Dean of St Albans Cathedral on Friday. Around 2,000 people packed the cathedral for the service in which he was formally made rector of the parish of St Albans Abbey and Dean of St Albans Cathedral. The Bishop of St Albans, Christopher Herbert, said: "There are very, very many who are absolutely thrilled; and there are some of my fellow Christians who have been, and remain, deeply upset, angry and dismayed. "What we have to do is listen deeply and patiently to each other so that understanding on all sides may grow." In his sermon, Dr John said: "This is where God wants and intends me to be, and there is nowhere else I would rather be. I hope we can get on now with what really matters." The new dean, who in the past has advocated a possible church blessing for same-sex couples, vowed during the ceremony to use "only the forms of service which are authorised or allowed by canon". . While gay Anglican groups have welcome the appointment, it has caused a wave of protests throughout the diocese and around the Anglican world. Philip Lovegrove, resigned from his post as chair of St Albans diocesan board of finance, and his position as honorary lay canon at the cathedral, in protest. St Peter and St Paul's Church in Cranfield, near Bedford, and Holy Trinity Church, in New Barnet, north London - have pledged to withhold money from diocese funds in protest. Speaking on behalf of the Anglican church in Nigeria, Dr Cyril Okarocha said in a statement: "The Archbishop of Canterbury and the bishops of England have not got the message or are they going to let the Anglican Church disintegrate?
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