Thinking Anglicans

News and comment on the Bishops' report on Marriage and Same Sex Relationships

news reports

Hattie Williams Church Times No change on marriage in view as Bishops pledge to update sexuality guidance

Harriet Sherwood The Guardian C of E bishops refuse to change stance on gay marriage

BBC Same-sex marriage: Church of England ‘should not change stance’

Ekklesia Disappointment at bishops’ report on same-sex marriage

Henry Bodkin The Telegraph Church of England bishops reject lifting opposition to same-sex marriage

Harry Farley Christian Today Church Of England Refuses To Budge On Gay Marriage

blogs

Miranda Threlfall-Holmes Sex and the bishops

Lucy Gorman Synod Scoop I trusted because what else was I to do?

Rachel Mann More Dust: Personal Response to the Statement on Sexuality

Archdruid Eileen Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley Beaker Conversations on Sexuality

Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Bishops, sexuality & marriage

Philip Blackledge frpip The old order. The C of E, LGBT, and holding on.

Marcus Green Salvation Songs glasses

Ian Paul Psephizo Where are the bishops leading on the sexuality debate?

Michael Sadgrove Woolgathering in North East England The Bishops’ Report on Same-Sex Relationships

Richard Peers Quodcumque Thoughts on the Holocaust Memorial Day Statement from the House of Bishops: becoming truth tellers

other comment

Paul Bayes Dioces of Liverpool Bishop Paul urges us to read the Marriage and Same Sex relationships document carefully and prayerfully

David Walker Diocese of Manchester Synod report on sexuality

Ruth Gledhill Christian Today The Church Of England And Gays: A Brave Attempt To Walk The Biblical Line

India Sturgis The Telegraph ‘Finding out my priest husband was gay was devastating. It was a death’

Martin Seeley East Anglian Daily Times Bishop Martin: Why is the Church agonising over homosexuality?

Michael Nazir-Ali Anglican Ink Statement on the Church of England’s Bishops’ Statement on Gay Marriage

Susie Leafe Anglican Ink Reform press statement in response to Bishops’ gay marriage document

GAFCON UK The Bishops’ Report on Marriage and Same Sex Relationships: a response from GAFCON UK

Tim Dieppe Christian Concern Bishops uphold teaching on marriage

Jayne Ozanne Premier Christianity The House of Bishops’ statement on sexuality is unbelievable, unacceptable and ungodly

Ed Shaw Premier Christianity Why we should celebrate today’s reaffirmation of traditional marriage from the House of Bishops

Christina Beardsley Changing Attitude It’s a (Church of England) lock out

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Pam
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Pam

Them’s fighting and kindly words from Marcus Green. Can’t everyone see?

Susannah Clark
Guest

The Ekklesia article raises a good point: “it is discrimination which is wrong, not same-sex love or diverse gender identity.” The sin may be the discrimination, not the loving relationship or gender. The ineffable Archdruid is wonderful again. I particularly love the Ceremony of Not Blessing Things We’d Rather Not Think About, which she/they reprises: http://cyber-coenobites.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/ceremony-of-not-blessing-things-wed.html … Very apposite with the restoration of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’. Andrew Lightbown then highlights the farce of suggesting that an informal prayer is somehow less naughty than a formal prayer. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, please note our tone. But at least if we… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest

As a trans school nurse, working in a school with trans pupils, and lesbian and gay ones, I am moved by the respect and inclusion and acceptance of so many young people these days. Pretty fricking awesome. Not a theology degree among them, but they get it. They don’t have a problem. They like the diversity. They ‘get’ that we’re all just people. But meanwhile, as the good folk of Husborne Crawley note, under the guidance of the awesome Archdruid, we need to not bless the thing that we need to not mention, but maybe very very secretly (so secretly… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

Bad timing by the bishops. A couple of years ago, they might have got away with it. Not now. Not with Trump in the Whitehouse. For now his presidential edicts target refugees. Soon it will be LGBT people, either directly or through Republican nominations to the court. Expect a new federal law allowing all discrimination against LGBT people if it is religiously motivated. And the world will be watching. In Uganda they will cheer. In Nigeria they will cheer. In England? Well the liberal papers and TV are going to be full of commentators saying how wrong it is to… Read more »

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

Ruth Gledhill approaches, but does not actually make, the crucial point about any prospect the CofE has in recruiting significant numbers of younger (and I think 30 is a naive view of the boundary: 40, I suspect, is closer to the mark, and possibly 50) people. The Church of England is, in this report, declaring itself as institutionally and unashamedly discriminatory. It’s basically saying “well, there are plenty of groups you can join if you are one of (hushed voice) them, who do (glances around to make sure it’s safe) that sort of thing, but if you want to join… Read more »

Fr William
Guest

The quest for purity: why does 1930s Germany come to my mind? Or contemporary Pyongyang? I note, though, that the birth of Dear Leader Kim Jong Il was accompanied by stars and heavenly singing (birds in his case, I think). As I said in another post, whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must dissolve into gales of hysterical laughter.

S Cooper
Guest
S Cooper

Susannah – Welby comes from churches which will have hundreds/ thousands of young people attending today. Is it not clear he’d like to see more of that kind of church?

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

The UK and the US are quickly going to hell in a hand basket, and the CoE bishops are affirming the hate and bigotry that is dragging us all down.

The UK and US are suffering from a collective absence of compassion. The CoE bishops are feeding the beast of hate, alienation, bigotry instead of promoting the Christ like virtue of compassion.

Losers. The worst ever. Let’s build a wall against the bishops and make them pay for it…

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

From +David “You will know, as men and women called to the cure of souls, that the tone of a conversation often frames what is heard and said…” He is so wrong. Martin Luther King has much to say about this. The problem isn’t tone, it’s that exclusion and judgement = hate. A kinder tone does nothing to heal souls that are bleeding from bigotry. The message that we “you LGBTQI people are not fully embraced as Children of God and our church” will not be lost on suicidal LGBTQI suicidal teens or parents who sometimes cast out their gay… Read more »

Nathaniel Brown
Guest
Nathaniel Brown

Ruth Gledhill is strongly on target. My Episcopal church in Seattle has long been Open & Affirming, and performed same-sex marriages the moment they were approved. We are a steadily growing congregation with a preponderance of young people among our new congregants, many of them moving strongly into leadership positions. And this year we set new records on pledges! The young want to worship in a community of acceptance and tolerance, and express themselves as having found a church home they want to bring their children up in. We find ourselves needing child care for the first time in decades.

Ronald Collinson
Guest
Ronald Collinson

Susannah Clark: there are lots of us ‘Millenials’ who are primarily interested in what the Bible says, and are confident that mission will never be jeopardised by sticking to God’s word. The churches which continue to uphold the ‘traditional’ standard are not short of young people (or, indeed, young converts). Obviously, that does mean we have to think pretty hard about how to present this teaching to friends who experience same-sex attraction; but we can be confident that God’s teaching is good and right.

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

“I don’t think Pete Broadbent and the rest of his ‘if only gay people could be, you know, a bit less gay about it’ closet-builders realise just how toxic homophobia is amongst younger people, and how relationship-ending it is.” Broadbent must, Interested Observer, ’cause he’s long moved in left-wing circles where homophobia’s anathema, and he even fought for (secular) gay rights in the ’80s. Which makes his actions since so bizarre. OK, he considers his hands tied by scripture, but that doesn’t compel him to impose his position on the rest of the church, and certainly didn’t compel him to… Read more »

Father David
Guest
Father David

If I understood the Bishop of Manchester correctly in the interview he gave on the SUNDAY programme – this new report now replaces the notorious “Issues in Human Sexuality” report which once prevented Rowan Williams from being appointed Bishop of Southwark in the bad old days when George Carey was Archbishop of Canterbury.

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

I suspect, James, that the bishops think that “tolerance”, ie hating people but overcoming your urge to imprison or murder them, is enough. They feel terribly liberal because they are willing to give LGBTQ people the basic right to exist free from criminal penalty. The stages of anti-Semitism, and by extension other forms of vile discrimination, were memorably summarised, and I am afraid I do not have my references to hand to give a citation, as “You shall not live like us, you shall not live amongst us, you shall not live”. What starts with social shunning then moves to… Read more »

Lorenzo
Guest
Lorenzo

Yes, Ronald Collinson, and how many of your millennial gay friends are found in your church? apart from the same four or five guys at Living Out, that is, who are always touted around.

Lorenzo
Guest
Lorenzo

I remember a comparative pew research study last year, to which I cannot link, basically saying that the churches in America have pretty much utterly lost the gay communities, and to me the interesting statistic was the % in each group who consider themselves evangelical protestants. The differential there was 2-to-1 (13 percentage points versus 26 percentage points). Given that the greatest predictor of one’s religion is the religion you grew up in, it would suggest that gays are deserting evangelicalism at a far more significant rate than they are leaving other faiths. That is of course in America, I… Read more »

Fr Andrew
Guest
Fr Andrew

“The churches which continue to uphold the ‘traditional’ standard are not short of young people” @Ronald Collinson Of course there are people in every generation and age group who are willing to accept, embrace, promote, tolerate or just turn a blind eye to a homophobic agenda. Homophobic christianity is acceptable to a small minority. We can hardly be surprised that some of these in y younger generations go to conservative churches. For the people who go to conservative churches, homophobia is not a problem. For the vast bulk of those whom the Church of England is supposed to serve, homophobia… Read more »

Barry
Guest
Barry

Nothing other than this was to be expected on Justin Welby’s watch, since his sole concern appears to be with preserving the supposed Anglican Communion.
However, are C of E bishops required to take an oath of personal loyalty to ++ Canterbury? I cannot think of anything else which would account for the willingness of bishops who are privately supportive of same-sex partnerships, clerical and lay, to assent publicly to such a document as they have produced – unless it be a conviction that “the Institution is more important than individuals” (especially homosexual ones).

Malcolm Dixon
Guest
Malcolm Dixon

My former bishop, Michael Nazir-Ali, regrets that the Bishops’ report, whilst mentioning the ‘classic Anglican triad’ of Scripture, Tradition and Reason, does not affirm the primacy of Scripture. I’m glad it doesn’t, because I don’t believe in it. I was taught to think of these three things as the three legs of a stool (the eponymous Tripos on which Oxbridge students were once allegedly required to sit whilst undertaking their examinations). As a Chartered Engineer, I can assure you that if any one of the three legs of a stool is larger than the others, it becomes danegerously unstable and… Read more »

cseitz
Guest
cseitz

Which is why Hooker never referred to a stool. The idea was invented in the 20th century. Hooker spoke of scripture as the first of three divine gifts to which authority was due. A threefold cord. Reason, which meant what Aquinas meant, not John Locke. Reason meant, God’s gift in creation to enable us to comprehend his intention, and most especially, his gift of scripture. Hooker lived in an era quite distant from us when it comes to the meaning of the word reason. He sat on no stool.

Fr Andrew
Guest
Fr Andrew

“The idea was invented in the 20th century.”

Which means it’s an improvement on one invented in the 16th. More modern Anglicans have taken Hooker (and Aquinas) and understood their thinking for modern times.

What is it about conservatives and preserving our faith in aspic?

Froghole
Guest
Froghole

I note the comments from Ronald Collinson and others about the impact of the bishops’ announcement. Usually episcopal pronunciamentos attract absolutely no attention at parochial level. However, as an illustration of the relative importance of last week’s announcement I attended a church in an old university town yesterday evening where one of the officiating ministers prayed to give thanks that the bishops had decided to “uphold the Biblical and traditional teaching on marriage” and also prayed that they – the bishops – not be guided by “human” notions of what constitutes correct teaching. The youngish man, sporting tattoos, who had… Read more »

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

“What is it about conservatives and preserving our faith in aspic?”

Selectively preserving, Fr. Andrew, as their liberalism on divorce attests (recast, of course, as the real biblical position somehow mislaid for two millennia).

Susannah Clark
Guest

Ronald, even if the Church attracted 1000s of young people by teaching gay sex is a sin, is that an achievement if at the same time it repels and disgusts 100,000s of young people.

I’d argue that the kind of views you champion would repel 20 decent young people for every 1 you attracted.

Net loss… evangelistic disaster…

Edward Prebble
Guest
Edward Prebble

“Stop talking about sex outside marriage being inherently sinful” I believe Miranda Threlfall-Holmes has put her finger on a crucial issue here, and one that is easily overlooked in the debates and invective surrounding the matters under discussion. Do the bishops, and do the (especially evangelical) theologians, and do the members of General Synod seriously accept the premise that the only context for wholesome, chaste sexual activity is that of marriage? I believe we must accept that the invention of effective contraception in the middle of the 20th century created an historical watershed; roles and mores that were almost universally… Read more »

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

“I’d argue that the kind of views you champion would repel 20 decent young people for every 1 you attracted.” This may not be the audience to make this point to, but it is a truth universally acknowledged that there is a quotation from the film Spinal Tap for every situation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ6JxAgmxXg Marty: The last time Tap toured America they were booked into 10,000 seat arenas, and 15,000 seat venues, and it seems that now, on their current tour they’re being booked into 1,200 seat arenas, 1,500 seat arenas, and I was just wondering, does this mean the popularity of… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

‘The report recommends that the Church adopt a “fresh tone of welcome and support” for its lesbian and gay members, and through “rebuke and affirmation” shed any homophobic attitudes regarding same-sex relationships. ‘But it also reaffirms the teaching, recognised by canon law, that marriage is “the lifelong union of one man and one woman”, and suggests that a change in doctrine would have an impact on the relationship between the C of E and the Anglican Communion.’ – Hattie Williams – One really struggles to understand how, possibly, can the Church of England Bishops reconcile their call to ‘respect’ Gay… Read more »

Barry
Guest
Barry

I read this morning that Irish author, Sebastian Barry, receiving the Costa Book Award, thanked his openly gay son for the inspiration he provided for the winning book. It was written partly from Barry’s anger after learning that his son had been subjected to threats from thugs who saw him kissing his partner. (I’m sure it will be a shock to our bishops that such a thing could happen, let alone that they might be held accountable for encouraging it by their gay-hostile policies.) Barry says, “As a father, I’m trying to mobilise the world to stop being in any… Read more »

Michael Skliros
Guest
Michael Skliros

The three-legged whatever. In the mid-50s, when the ethos of Ridley Hall was liberal evangelical (as was that of Westcott House), the line was “Scripture, Tradition and Reason, of which scripture is primary because only in scripture do we learn of Christ.” That was it. No elaboration. No ‘sole scriptura’ and certainly no inerrancy nonsense. We were not that liberal, though. Bultmann was really only talked about behind closed doors and his researches – that hardly any of the sayings and doings of Jesus were ‘ipsissima verba’ or actual events – were not discussed openly. There was much discussion (=… Read more »

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

“We were not that liberal, though. Bultmann was really only talked about behind closed doors and his researches – that hardly any of the sayings and doings of Jesus were ‘ipsissima verba’ or actual events – were not discussed openly.”

This does help explain why, in the decades since, liberal theology’s been utterly marginalized within the CoE; and especially why so many of its members are shocked to discover what’s uncontroversial at seminaries. There’s things that you’re liable, to read in the Bible — it ain’t necessarily so!