Bishop of Gloucester hits back: I never said you can't have love without faith

The bishop of Gloucester has hit back at a Times article following her appearance at the Cheltenham Science Festival on Saturday which led to her being widely attacked on social media.

In the article yesterday, headlined 'You can't have love without faith, says woman bishop', Rachel Treweek is quoted as saying: 'Provocatively, I want to question whether you can truly have love and hope without faith. Real love and hope for me come from knowing that I am loved and I can have hope because I'm loved, that my shame and my guilt are dealt with.'

The bishop of Gloucester, Rachel Treweek, was attacked for comments she made at the Cheltenham Science Festival.

'The only place where there is really unconditional love is in God,' she said.

A tweet from Humanists UK said 'How deeply, profoundly offensive to the 53% of people in the UK that have no religion.'

However, in a combative video message, Bishop Treweek says she never suggested those without faith could not love. 'That would be a ridiculous thing to say. I see wonderful love in community and between people every day,' she says.

She continues: 'The more and more I go on in my life, discovering my own brokenness, discovering more of who I am, knowing that I am drawn more and more into that mystery of God's love, then that's what I long for every person to know.

'And so I was being a bit provocative and saying, I wonder, being curious, I wonder if without faith we can really know deep hope and love, and this side of heaven I don't believe that I will know that pure, pure love or be able to share it. But I do know that it's in Jesus Christ that I know the love of God and I long for every person to know that too.'