Statement from the College & House of Bishops

Press release from the Church of England

Statement from the College & House of Bishops
13 December 2016

The College of Bishops of the Church of England met at Lambeth Palace on Monday 12th December.

The meeting began with a service of Holy Communion and reflections from the Archbishop of York. Discussions on issues of sexuality took place as part of a process of episcopal discernment which began in September and continued at the meeting of the House of Bishops in November.

The college discussed the reflections of the House from their November meeting and also received an update from the Chair of the Bishops Reflection Group on Sexuality.

As with the meeting of the College of Bishops in September and the meeting of the House of Bishops in November the discussions took place in private and participants have agreed not to comment on the contents of the meetings beyond their own views.

The Bishops agreed to consult the General Synod in February as well as updating Synod as to where their discussions had reached. More information will be available when those consultative materials have been prepared in January 2017.

The meeting closed with evening prayer and reflections from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The House of Bishops met at Lambeth Palace on Tuesday 13th December. A full and diverse agenda included substantial discussions on safeguarding, discussions on Renewal and Reform activity – including lay discipleship, simplification legislation and resourcing – and ecumenical issues as well as considerations of work with student groups.

8 comments

  • Nicholas Henderson says:

    It’s the Christmas season with pastoral opportunities all around and this is what the Bishops have produced … Oh dear, oh dear.

  • Stephen Morgan says:

    So – nothing, then!

  • Victoriana says:

    Well, I hope their discernment has included some reflection on the costs of their latest win in the EAT.

  • Paul Waddington says:

    It does seem that this statement is a first class example of writing a lot and saying nothing. I wonder why they bothered.

  • How one would long to be a fly on the wall at such meetings. Is it possible that even one of the Bishops, gathered in purdah, could have admitted even a fleeting compassion and sympathy for the LGBTI people in the Church they have been anointed by God to ‘Shepherd’? I hope a few individual consciences were pricked at the continuing air of hypocrisy surrounding such Holy Huddles.

    Can one hope for a better understanding of the situation when the Bishops meet yet again before G.S.2017?

  • James Byron says:

    Why on earth wait for bishops’ compassion? Rights aren’t given, they’re taken.

    Look what happened in Scotland when the SEC bishops attempted a half-hearted imitation of England’s heroically un-pastoral pastoral letter: SEC clergy and laity rose up in righteous fury, and in no time, their province was on the road to equal marriage.

    Same can happen in England, but only when her bishops are recognized as the problem, not the solution.

  • Daniel Berry, NYC says:

    As with the meeting of the College of Bishops in September and the meeting of the House of Bishops in November the discussions took place in private and participants have agreed not to comment on the contents of the meetings beyond their own views.

    Because, of course, the mind of the house of bishops is none of our d*mn business.

  • RevDave says:

    It sounds like no change to the fudge then… Personally, in this sexually and relationally messy 21st century England, I think the Bishops need to be clearer that they stand by the teaching of Jesus and His Apostles on the nature of marriage, the sinfulness of divorce, and the inherent sinfulness of all forms of sex outside marriage.

    Otherwise they are vulnerable to the accusation that they are singling out same-sex relationships as somehow especially heinous.

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