Thinking Anglicans

Married people write to College of Bishops

The following letter has been published today by the Sunday Times

To All Members of the House of Bishops
September 2016

Dear Bishops

We are writing to you as married lesbian and gay members of the Church of England. Some of us are clergy; some of us are members of the laity. We are just a few of the many gay and lesbian people in this country who have in the past two years been able to celebrate with families, friends, and in our cases often our local Church community, the enriching and life enhancing love we have found in our wives and husbands.

We would like you to know that we will be praying for you as you meet in September as a College of Bishops.

Now that the Shared Conversations are at an end it is time for the Church of England to move forward and make clear the commitment to ‘good disagreement’ that was at their heart. We fully appreciate that the time may not yet be right for a change in the Church’s official understanding of marriage. But many in our parishes have already made that move and it is time to respect that a diversity of theology within the Church now exists and that there is more than one understanding of what a faithful Christian may believe on these issues.

As you meet to discuss we seek from you a clear lead that offers a way forward to greater inclusion that will enable those parishes that wish to do so to celebrate the love that we have found in our wives and husbands. We hope for an outcome that will enable those who wish to do so to publicly celebrate where we see God at work in the lives of our congregations without fear and in openness.

We encourage you to be bold, and to be honest about what many of you already believe from your own experience, and to what you know to be increasingly the direction of travel, not just in our Church but in many Churches in this country.

We will always want to see the full inclusion of LGBTI people in the Church, and we will continue to work towards it. We look forward to welcoming a first step in that process and a move away from the harm and hurt that has so often been done in the name of the Church.

Yours in Christ

1. The Revd Andrew Foreshew-Cain and Stephen Foreshew-Cain
2. The Revd Richard Harris and Ricardo Goncalves.
3. The Revd Garry Lawson and Timothy H. Wane
4. The Revd Clive Larson and John Markham
5. The Revd Paul Collier and Mr Collier
6. The Revd Canon Jeremy Davis and Simon McEnery
7. The Revd Geoffrey Thompson and Tony Steeles
8. The Revd Prof Mark Cobb and Keith Arrowsmith

9. Jeremy Timm & Mike Brown
10. Ruth Wilde & Ellie Wilde
11. Jack Semple and Ross Griffiths
12. Paul Jellings and Andrew Carter
13. Erica Baker and Susan Strong
14. Karen and Samantha Bregazzi-Jones
15. Keith Barber and Tim Mills
16. Simon Dawson and David Mooney

In addition a further seven clergy couples and Readers have indicated their support for this letter whilst wishing to remain anonymous in order to protect themselves, and often their Bishops, from attack.

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Sara MacVane
Sara MacVane
7 years ago

As an American (of a certain age), I well remember the day when 4 black students sat down at a lunch counter in North Carolina and changed the world forever. So I have only unbridled appreciation and prayers for the clergy and their companions who signed the letter and for +Nicholas. The times they are a changing and we shall not be moved. Alleluia.

Susannah Clark
Susannah Clark
7 years ago

***THANK YOU*** to everyone involved in this.

Susannah and Karina

Father Ron Smith
7 years ago

“The times, they are a-changing”. Deo gratias!

7 years ago

In 2005, Bishop David Jenkins blessed a civil partnership between two gay men despite a church ban on such blessings. May this well-loved and prophetic man rest in peace and be remembered as someone who lived at a time when CofE bishops were seen to be relevant.

Fr.Laurence Roberts
Fr.Laurence Roberts
7 years ago

Our thanks too.

A heart-felt initiative from the signatories.

So many happy couples, called and blessed of God.

pax amorque,

Laurie & Michael

7 years ago

Way to go! Now if the supporting bishops would just “come out” and break ranks…

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