Canon statement is a world scoop

The Reading Chronicle scooped the world with an exclusive statement from Canon Jeffrey John, the gay cleric whose appointment as Bishop of Reading threatened a worldwide split in the Anglican Church.

After turning down the appointment following a meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Canon John refused all requests for interviews and was not seen in public.

But the Reading Chronicle, part of Trinity Mirror Southern, clinched its exclusive when Canon John offered it a personal letter telling of his feelings and thanking his supporters.

It made a front-page splash for the Chronicle – with the nationals, TV and radio left to follow up the weekly’s scoop.

Assistant editor Joe Wise said: “I think the approach was made to us because of our even-handed coverage of this important story over the previous weeks. I interviewed him on the day of his appointment and as the controversy gathered pace, we gave equal prominence to both sides of the story.

“We were obviously delighted that he chose to come to us..”

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