Responding to: 'Bishops Proposal of Prayers of Thanksgiving, Dedication and for God’s Blessing for Same-Sex Couples'

OneBodyOneFaith acknowledge yesterdays statement from the bishops regarding their collective hopes for the Church of England’s direction of travel with regards to gender and sexuality. Our first reaction is understandable disappointment that equal marriage has not been proposed. However, we recognise that the proposals signify an important and necessary shift in the stance of the Church of England towards recognising same-sex relationships, and for this we give thanks for the movement of the Spirit. We are also glad that it is proposed to remove the shameful, outmoded document, Issues in Human Sexuality, as a document to which ordinands must assent, whilst remaining cautious as to any new guidance. If such guidance beyond the normal assurances of clerical godly living is to be issued, we would gladly contribute to its compilation.  

We shall continue through the General Synod debates and beyond to seek to champion the freedom of conscience of LGBT+ people and their allies to flourish in their lives, and to be blessed by God in the church. We also continue to lament all those who have been, and continue to be hurt, and have even lost their lives in the past, due to damaging theologies that have failed to reflect the radical inclusive welcome of God’s love, through the grace of Christ, moved by the Spirit. The regret expressed by the bishops regarding this needs to be demonstrated in an ongoing change in culture and attitudes. We shall read the House of Bishops’ proposals with prayerful consideration before we engage in General Synod.