Rosemary Bailey gives an unsentimental yet heartbreaking account of her brother’s life, from his strict upbringing by a fundamentalist father, through ordination as an Anglican priest, then gay liberation, to his diagnosis with AIDS and a long debilitating illness that he never allowed to defeat him.
Rosemary captures the sad drama that consumes Simon Bailey, rector of the South Yorkshire village of Dinnington, as he breaks the news of his homosexuality and his illness, first to friends, then to close parishioners, and finally to his family, the church authorities and the media.
While slowly succumbing to AIDS, the Rev. Bailey continues to hold services in the parish church, while his parishioners care for him around the clock through his final months.
The story was the subject of the BBC Everyman documentary, Simon’s Cross.