The Church of England has appointed an advocate of naturism as its latest female bishop.
Karen Gorham, who is currently Archdeacon of Buckingham, was brought up in a nudist family and even wrote a treatise praising naturism while a vicar in Maidstone, Kent.
She was named on Thursday as the new Bishop of Sherborne, effectively acting as deputy to the Bishop of Salisbury. Part of the area she will oversee includes the Studland nudist beach, which she used to visit with her parents as a child.
Although she stopped going nude while she was a teenager, she wrote in 2000 that although the Church has portrayed the naked body as something that ought to be covered, Christians should be able to walk around with no clothes on, provided they are not breaking the law.
“The connection of nakedness and sex, though it may seem inescapable, need not necessarily be so,” she said, adding: “Life in a naturist club, or a naturist resort, is just about doing things which one generally does with clothes on, but unclothed when the circumstances permit it.”
The booklet adds that the Church should remove “false taboos” about nudity, adding that “there is an important distinction to be drawn between physical nakedness and sexual impurity.”
Bishop-elect Gorham stood by her views this weekend, telling the Mail on Sunday: “Naturism is often misunderstood, so people jump to the wrong conclusions, but it is a natural way of doing things, and gives people freedom.”
However, the Rev George Curry, a more traditional-minded Church of England vicar, said Archdeacon Gorham’s views made her unsuitable to be a bishop.
“Wandering around with nothing on goes against traditional teaching. Except for medical emergencies, nakedness should be kept between man and wife.”
Karen Gorham becomes the Church of England’s eight female bishop after it voted to allow women to become bishops last year.
Last month, Breitbart London reported how another female bishop, Rachel Trewood, said that God is “beyond gender” and should therefore not be referred to as “He”.
“Recently the Church has been concentrating so much on whether we should have women bishops we took our eye off the ball about God. God doesn’t have a gender.”