Thinking Anglicans

Living in Love and Faith meets the Church Times

Today’s Church Times features a lengthy interview in which the Editor, Paul Handley discusses Living in Love and Faith with the Bishop of Coventry, Christopher Cocksworth and Dr Eeva John, the project’s enabling officer.

The far from snappy headline is: Sexuality review will not pronounce on the rights or wrongs of same-sex marriage, which is immediately followed by this strapline: But difficult issues are ‘not being kicked into the long grass’, Bishop Cocksworth insists. 

THE group commissioned by the Archbishops to look into sexuality will not pronounce on the rights or wrongs of same-sex marriage. But neither is it engaged merely on a mapping exercise of the different views that exist, or burying the issue in the long grass.

“Perhaps what we’re doing has never been done before,” the Bishop of Coventry, Dr Christopher Cocksworth, said shortly before Christmas, speaking in his office in Coventry. Dr Cocksworth chairs the co-ordinating group that oversees the 40-odd scholars working in thematic teams covering theology, history, biblical studies, and science…

There is also a related Church Times podcast, here.

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Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

“Perhaps what we’re doing has never been done before,” Oh my. Others have indeed done a theological study of theology and sexuality. Is it an English trait to re-invent the wheel then insist that they’ve invented the wheel? Or a bishop trait? I try to hold on to hope that this project will have some value, but it looks like another exercise in “talking about us without us.” And there is little hope there. He already says that both liberals and conservatives will be disappointed. What does that mean? That yet again the document will insist that LGBTQ+ people continue… Read more »

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

What people have mainly done is study together with those sympathetic to their own view. Or they have studied theological issues without engaging with the actual culture of the real Church of England (for example, the Bishops have imagined that they are studying things on behalf of the whole church). So some of this really hasn’t been done – the theology may have been done over, but the politics and relationships between people who call themselves christian have not. I am reminded of the first and greatest commandment (which cannot live in human experience without a sexual reference, because that… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness….” If the theology doesn’t recognise that seminal statement applies not just to Men but to Women too and consequentially means that same sex marriage is as legitimate as mixed sex marriage, then I think the claim that LiLaF has advanced our understanding is pretty thin when even secular society has already stumbled upon the truth. And, yes, I understand that the American Declaration of Independence… Read more »

Charles Clapham
Guest

Sorry to say so, Mark Bennet, but this has all been done before, and repeatedly, over many years. If you want a quick overview of the numerous Church of England reports on sexuality over the last fifty years or so, see Colin Coward’s excellent summary at http://www.unadulteratedlove.net/blog/2018/7/3/traditional-or-revisionist-lgbti-anglicans-and-the-teaching-document-a-history. The only difference in the current process is the numbers of people involved and (perhaps) the length (358 pages is the target to beat). There are literally hundreds of reports, books, theses, articles that have been written on these issues for decades. And if the parameters are set in advance (no change of… Read more »

Fr Andrew
Guest
Fr Andrew

Self-congratulatory and saying nothing. There is nothing here that would lead one to question the reality that the Church of England hierarchy cannot be trusted when it comes to the welfare of LGBT people. Continued C of E equivocation is acquiescence in our continued oppression.

Kate
Guest
Kate

It seems to me that Living in Love and Faith is, as suspected, revealed to be a way of kicking the can down the road to 2020 but, when we get there, we will be no nearer to change. In short, it is a delaying tactic.

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

Of course this is a delaying tactic: when English bishops want to reconcile the irreconcilable, delay is all they have (see also the endless kicking of Brexit cans down the road). If left to the bishops, a decision will never be made, and the Higton status quo will continue until the CoE at last fragments. If change is to come, it must come via other means.

Susannah Clark
Guest

Your last sentence hangs in the air. Please don’t leave it hanging there. I want to know what you are thinking.

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

Sorry about that inadvertant cliffhanger, Susannah! No surprises, I’m afraid, was just referring to potential methods of peaceful and lawful resistance I’ve suggested here before: withholding parish shares; suspension of “discipline” in supposedly liberal dioceses; seminaries refusing to train anyone until discrimination ceases; priests with security of freehold performing equal marriage services, and so on. Sure others have their own suggestions. Most important is accepting that change won’t come via appealing to the House of Bishops.

david rowett
Guest
david rowett

Would a s/s marriage conducted by a priest of the CofE (even a freeholder) be legally valid? I have a suspicion it might not be, but perhaps canon lawyers could comment?

Anonymous - to protect my priest
Guest
Anonymous - to protect my priest

David, I think the point is that for the couple involved, the marriage is legal in the eyes of God. What is the little scrap of paper in the registry office anyway, compared to declared faith and celebration of marriage before God, and the congregation, and friends, and relatives? So I think – at this stage – the important thing is to have the celebration in church, and if everyone regards you as married, and your marriage is as good as anyone else’s, and everyone is celebrating it in the presence of God who blesses that marriage, then I think… Read more »

Jo B
Guest
Jo B

Congratulations, Anonymous, on your impending nuptials! What a terrible irony that you are heading north to give legal force to what God will do when Scotland is the one part of the UK where Anglican priests can openly conduct the weddings of all couples.

Anonymous - to protect my priest
Guest
Anonymous - to protect my priest

If I could just add: The Church of England is in a ridiculous situation. I’m sorry for it. But that doesn’t mean my partner is going to be sacrificed for the sake of other people’s consciences and telling us what to do. We’re deeply joyful and so happy together. We belong in our community. Our community knows to do the right thing. That’s it. We won’t be the last, we probably aren’t the first. More and more churches will get to this point where ‘enough is enough’. This isn’t a political action. This is our lives. And this is our… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

Congratulations.

The need for a separate piece of paper is how Hindu weddings work in this country. That community has worked around temple weddings not being legal for decades.

Anonymous - to protect my priest
Guest
Anonymous - to protect my priest

Thanks for that insight, Kate. I didn’t know that. Then that’s what everyone should start doing. Go off on a fun weekend and get a piece of paper, but don’t count that as your wedding, because you know the real one is the one you commit to, before God, and your friends and family, in the heart of your community. Anyway, that’s what we’re doing, and it’s our business, and our community’s business, and sorry, the bishops and archbishops don’t get to choose our consciences for us. I hope more churches do this, because – like when Rosa Parks sat… Read more »

Dean Henley
Guest
Dean Henley

Your priest is very brave! As a gay priest who has challenged my senior clergy on numerous occasions about the CofE’s hopeless dithering about sexuality, I would be wary of your priest facing action under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003. As a former union representative I’ve seen many clergy ruined by a CDM. The bishops are anxious not to upset the conservative evangelicals who hold much of the power and the money, all it takes is for one of your guests to mention the happy occasion to someone unsupportive and the full weight of the CDM could come down on… Read more »

Anonymous - to protect my priest
Guest
Anonymous - to protect my priest

I agree Dean, and I assure you I feel fiercely protective of my priest, who is such a decent person and has frankly inspiring principles. Of course, he is doing this, and his PCC want him to do this, of their own volition and because of their own moral courage and principles. It doesn’t stop me being acutely aware of the dismal risks, and I assure you I have taken very careful measures to safeguard this good man’s position, on various fronts, including what I have written here. I could have written nothing, and kept the whole thing sort of… Read more »

David Runcorn
Guest
David Runcorn

Whatever we may make of it there is an immense amount of hard work going into all this. That is not usually the behaviour of people simply trying to delay things. So I wonder what would it would take to persuade folk here that there is a genuine intention here, however imperfect, to find ways forward?

Kate
Guest
Kate

One could say the same, David, of May’s intention to find clarifications to her Brexit deal ahead of a Parliamentary vote but still few outside those working on her deal see it as little more than delaying tactics to avoid a Parliamentary vote. One cannot draw conclusions about an initiative based on the efforts and goodwill of those at the coal face. If there was a genuine intention to find a way forwards rather than simply Sir Humphry Appleby delay, that intention would be expressed in the terms of referee. For example, LFF could have been formed… “To review mutual… Read more »

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

Simple: church leadership cuts their ceaseless dissembling and takes a position. We don’t need to be tutored in the glories of newthink: we need the church to stop discriminating against people on the basis of their sexuality. It’s not complicated, it needs no research, no tortured theology, no washing of hands. It’s a plain matter of principle. Hard work without a clear time limit and endzone is a wasted effort.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

I tend to agree with James Byron. But a serious answer to your question, David Runcorn, is that taking the bishops seriously would require that there be significant inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in the study and discussions. It’s really that simple. There would have to be as many LGBTQ+ people in the room(s) with equal voice and equal power as that of the anti-gay crowd. Nothing short of that is acceptable. Frankly, I think the bus has left the station on the acceptability of continued oppression of LGBTQ+ people by the established church. If they label the “liberal position” as… Read more »

Helen King
Guest
Helen King

As a member of one of the LLF working groups (History), I found the Church Times podcast completely confusing and I would advise against bothering with it. There’s talk about how the C of E ‘put a bunch of fairly strong-minded people … into a committee’… and they produced something that was ‘universally rejected’. Very odd wording. In fact the rejected GS2055 was a document from the House of Bishops emanating from a committee it had itself formed, the Bishops’ Reflection Group on (Human) Sexuality. TA listed the members in 2016 – all bishops – when it was created (see… Read more »

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

To be clear, my comment on people of similar views was meant to be in contrast to what is now being attempted.

Kate
Guest
Kate

I am sure that it is a lot of work but in an organisation whose foundational values include “.. the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen”, does it not strike you as odd that the bishops have ongoing access to the papers but not even the rest of the members of Synod? When the governance arrangements of an iniative embed a highly conservative approach like this (episcopal oversight), does that not give reasonable grounds to question whether there is a pre-existing (pre-mediatated?) bias in the likely output of the initiative?

Helen King
Guest
Helen King

Mark, thanks for the clarification and I’m sorry I misunderstood.
Kate, I don’t mind who has access to anything I’ve written for LLF. On the episcopal oversight, we’re an episcopal church, but at least unlike GS2055 the LLF project includes laity and clergy too.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

Do LGBTQ+ people have equal representation, voice, and power as the conservatives in these discussion groups?

Helen King
Guest
Helen King

Cynthia, there are most certainly LGBTQ+ people in the groups. But what I don’t get about your question here and elsewhere in the discussion is that you have LGBTQ+/conservatives as the two constituencies. Don’t you think allies count for anything? Also, on equal marriage, there’s more than one conservative view, and if I dare say anything as an ally, there’s more than one LGBTQ+ view too. I’m not very enthused by binaries!

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

Helen, perhaps my imagination is limited, but I can’t imagine an acceptable situation that doesn’t recognize and respect my marriage. The binary is justice vs. injustice. It really is that simple, enthusiastic or not. We’re people, you can’t treat us as less and expect us to be happy about it. You can’t say that we’re not fully loved and fully part of the church and expect a drop in teen LGBTQ+ suicide and a host of anxiety, depression, and struggles from being told we’re disordered. It is life vs. death for us, a binary that matters.

Helen King
Guest
Helen King

Cynthia, of course lgbtq+ people are ‘people’. An analogy: women, of whatever sexual orientation, are ‘people’. But in the C of E there are still those who believe women cannot be priests, alongside those who believe they can and are, and the official position I understand remains that their ordination is ‘provisional’. So, are we as women ‘fully part of the church’? Then there are those in the C of E who do not recognise or respect my marriage either – a heterosexual one, in which one of us is divorced with a previous partner still living. Most of the… Read more »

Charles Read
Guest
Charles Read

The parallel with the ordination of women is close but not exact, which makes life complicated. The ordination of women is not provisional – the Five Guiding Principles make it clear that all faithful C of E Anglicans have to accept that women have in fact been ordained. The parallel with remarriage might be closer – I don’t know if those who object to second marriages regard them as valid in the eyes of God or not. The desire to find similar accommodations for diverse views on same sex marriage is very hard. It seems to me we (as a… Read more »

Helen King
Guest
Helen King

Charles, some of those who object to second marriages after a divorce regard them as adulterous with the marriage needing to be ended in order to ensure entry to heaven. Whether or not ‘the church’ accepts such marriages, some of its members thus don’t. Is that possible with equal marriage, with some clergy not being prepared to officiate at such a marriage? The reason I keep harping on about this is that I still don’t understand why equal marriage is for some people the ‘killer’, when they manage to stay in a church where marriage after a divorce is generally… Read more »

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

The answer to all of your good questions is a resounding YES! Yes, all are full children of God, created in the image of God and full members of the church, whether or not the church recognizes everyone. Having said that, none of your analogies work for LGBTQ+ people. No one is born a divorcée. No 12+-year-old child is bullied and driven to suicide because they might get divorced in a few decades. No child is made to feel “disordered” and “sinful” for who God made them/us to be over the topic of divorce. As far as women’s ordination goes,… Read more »

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

And finally, Salvation is God’s business. God does not need gatekeepers violating Jesus’ commandment “don’t judge.” Those of us who are most active in the church have followed Christ right up to the foot of the Cross and had our own conversations about Salvation with our Maker. What is dangerous is that the salvation people insist on teaching an alternative gospel to people who are vulnerable and haven’t yet taken that journey to the Cross, and that alternative gospel puts stumbling blocks before them. I hope that the LLF process includes people who can speak for the vulnerable, remembering their… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

Cynthia I totally agree with almost everything you have said across two comments. I just don’t think it is appropriate to allow ministers to opt out. Ministers are there to serve the parish. I think giving ministers an opt out fails to recognise that service is at the core of their offices.

Yes, they may have conscientious objections but that is secondary to their obligation of service to all.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

Kate, I hear you and you hold a strong position. Having been on the receiving end of force for decades, spiritual and psychological violence sustained at me and all LGBTQ+ people, I’m not inclined to use force as an agent of liberation. My view is inconsistent and flawed, but I don’t have the heart to impose force.

Charles Read
Guest
Charles Read

Some of the manoeuvering is not really envisaged by the Five GPs but is being allowed though it causes problems – e.g. having a bishop who appears to deny Chalcedonian orthodoxy as a consequence of his opposition to women’s ordination and the very uncatholic way in which Philip North was consecrated! But yes, I agree with you on the other matters….

Paul Waddington
Guest
Paul Waddington

Yes it is kicking the can down the road. The imperative is to defer any serious discussion until after the next Lambeth Conference, in an effort to avoid the break up of the Communion. It seems that this strategy will not work.

Laurie Roberts
Guest
Laurie Roberts

Oh this is so exciting ! I first raised these issues with clergy and bishops in the late 1960s and early 1970s, arising out of my own personal sensibility and issues. At first, as a young evangelical in turmoil after ‘aversion therapy’ (‘ electro-convulsive’), and then after both feeling a vocation, and falling in love with someone sharing my gender-identity. Now that we are both pensioners, how can I fail to relish the anticipation of some official C of E guidance — presumably to ease us onwards to our closing chapter! How did we ever manage? Still, it is great… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

While I agree with David Runcorn that this is an honest attempt to move things forward, I believe the LLF strategy will just raise the temperature. The report will contain no recommendations. It will be published more than five years after Pilling, the only recommendation of which that was followed up was the Shared Conversations. It will lead to a confetti of PMMs and DSMs on General Synod. We don’t need to know how much we disagree, or indeed the theological basis on which we disagree, because we know that already. We need a modus operandi for moving forward in… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

Well said, Anthony. I disagree strongly with the views of the Bishop of Maidstone, for example, but I respect – and to an extent find helpful – that he is open and honest about his beliefs.

Charles Clapham
Guest

The Church Times report is intensely depressing and dispiriting for those us committed to fully equality for LGBTQI christians, but none of this should come as a surprise. The “Living in Love and Faith” process, and the setting up of the parallel pastoral group came after the rejection by General Synod of the last report by the Bishops entitled “Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations” (GS 2055). That rejected report proposed “no change to ecclesiastical law or to the Church of England’s existing doctrinal position on marriage and sexual relationship”, but argued instead on the need to… Read more »

Helen King
Guest
Helen King

Charles, just keeping this to the Teaching Document (because I have no idea e.g. whether bishops or selectors have changed the questions they put to ordinands and clergy about their ‘lifestyle’ – ridiculous word!), what is happening in LLF is to my mind much broader than the TD envisaged in GS2055, and I support the involvement of so many people who work professionally in the different fields of knowledge. Of course, as I’ve said at LLF meetings, we’ve yet to see how much of our work will appear in the final resources endorsed by the bishops. While I appreciate and… Read more »

David Runcorn
Guest
David Runcorn

Thank you for your comments here Helen. My own comments above were specifically in response to claims this is simply a delaying tactic/long grass/kicking cans etc. Like Charles Clapham and Anthony Archer I have concerns about the wisdom of the process in place. But in my own limited involvement in the content I think some very thorough and thoughtful work was apparent. I note in his recent blog that Andrew Lightbown describes himself as ‘cautiously encouraged’ by Christopher Cocksworth’s comments the CT piece. That guess that is my position too. But it is not ‘simple’ at all actually. And as… Read more »

Charles Clapham
Guest

Helen, I can certainly agree that there are lots of people involved in the process. But it is still dominated by bishops in a way which I think no previous Anglican report has been. The contrast in membership with the groups who wrote Faith in the City for example (18 members, only 2 of them bishops, neither of whom was chair), or Mission-Shaped Church (11 members, only one bishop), to name just two influential reports is quite striking. So whilst no doubt lots of good input is being generated by those in the working groups, it will be the bishops… Read more »

Helen King
Guest
Helen King

I find your comments entirely reasonable, Charles. There are already books out there which were designed to help people to think through the issues – in a recent comment on a post on my blog, Phil Groves rightly mentioned the collection he was involved in editing, The Anglican Communion and Homosexuality (2008), which is certainly a lot lighter on the purple than is the current process. And I only came across that book at the start of the LLF process, entirely by chance. There’s definitely some reinvention of the wheel happening here. One of the things I think is good… Read more »

Charles Clapham
Guest

I suppose one question outsiders to the process like myself might want to ask, in terms of probing the reasons why people disagree, is whether it can be reasonable to appeal to the existence of prejudice against homosexuality as an explanation for disagreements. In other words, the current discourse in the church seems to be that disagreements are founded on intellectual arguments which can be rationally interrogated. But I’m not persuaded this is the case. I can see that the language of homophobia can be overly simplistic, but one might nevertheless reasonably want to argue that there are non-rational psychological… Read more »

Helen King
Guest
Helen King

I think you’re correct on all points here, Charles. Again, isn’t this like the ordination of women? If I remember rightly, those leaving and claiming compensation had to show this was on theological grounds; a matter of conscience rather than prejudice. I have no idea how they proved this.

peter kettle
Guest
peter kettle

Can anyone quote the exact ‘lifestyle’ question(s) that are put to ordinands?

Helen King
Guest
Helen King
Rich
Guest
Rich

So BIshops have abdicated from teaching if they just kick the can down the road? What exactly are we paying them for again?

Dean Henley
Guest
Dean Henley

As the leading church historian of our age Professor Sir Diarmaid MacCulloch has brought to the Church’s attention; it is not so long ago that the CofE ran brothels in south London to augment the then Bishop of Winchester’s coffers. The current rather prim approach to LGBTQI sexuality needs a rather selective reading of the Church’s history as regards sexual morality. Sadly Sir Diarmaid has been treated disgracefully by the CofE for his own personal integrity and honest scholarship. If the evangelicals are not so interested in Church history, the bishops then ought to be highlighting the evangelical wing’s haphazard… Read more »

David Runcorn
Guest
David Runcorn

Dean Henley ‘It is not so long ago’ …. well it was 1107 actually. But unless you really are pleading for the Bishop of Coventry (and ‘evangelicals’ with him) to support a return to those less ‘prim’ days I am not quite sure what point you are making here?

crs
Guest
crs

I also constantly struggle with statements like “The Great British public don’t by and large follow this debacle in any detail but they have worked out that we are not authentic and that above all is the characteristic they rightly expect from us.” What if it is the case that very few of “the Great British public” bother to think about the Church of England at all, or if they regard the very idea as problematic, or outmoded. There seems to be a self-generated assumption that “we” and “us” who live in some connection to the Church of England worry… Read more »

Andrew Godsall
Guest
Andrew Godsall

I’m afraid I find your approach simplistic Christopher. I agree that the ‘Great British public’ aren’t really very interested in what the Church of England thinks but you need to ask yourself why. The attitude of the ‘Great British public’ towards issues of sexuality, particularly homosexuality, has changed completely during my lifetime. This has been well documented. During my lifetime the C of E has become markedly more conservative on the issue. I’m nearly 60 and have been ordained 30 years. As an ordinand I was never asked to sign up to an agreement about issues in human sexuality as… Read more »

crs
Guest
crs

Oh, Andrew, I’m afraid the entire idea of a Great British Public expecting to have a Great English Church All Their Own, if ever it made sense, has timed out for the Great British Public said to be concerned about what the CofE does or is. Your average bloke over a beer does not lament the CofE he/she once loved that now is out-of-step with the general liberal culture. He/she thinks Christianity is nonsense and can’t be bothered. Fortunately virtually all the provinces of the Communion are free from the indefensible National Church idea and can get on with mission… Read more »

Andrew Godsall
Guest
Andrew Godsall

Christopher – as so often you completely ignore the point. You are equating the Church with Christianity.
If the majority of the great British public think Christianity is nonsense, then you need to ask yourself why.
My own view is that they think the Church is nonsense, and not Christianity. That’s where I think you are being way too simplistic.

crs
Guest
crs

Andrew, as so often, you do not think outside your bubble of “everything is to do with LGBT+.” When all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail. They think Christianity is nonsense for the same reasons the work of the Cross has been rejected down the line and over the years, and will continue to be. You make Christianity into a kind of beauty contest, not a life or death matter consisting in breaking down human pride and loving the sinner unto death. This is a theme one hears often from your ranks: Christianity will succeed when it… Read more »

Andrew Godsall
Guest
Andrew Godsall

“Church is bad, Christianity is good never rang from their lips.”
Christopher – you’ve never heard the phrase ‘spiritual but not religious’?

Just for clarification, what would you propose re the ‘national church’? I’m just not clear what your point is here.

crs
Guest
crs

Which has nothing much to do with love Christianity, dislike the Church. Spirituality is some generic religiosity. Yet again another bromide.

Simon Butler
Guest
Simon Butler

Unlike many commentators here, I think this is a very helpful approach. The implication of many on this thread is that those of us who are LGBTI+ have nothing to learn and that all that is required is for others to take our life experience into the life of the church and all will be well. I am as enthusiastic as others to see our experience taken as part of the church’s experience and our place as fellow-baptised Christians honoured. But I think we – LGBTI+ Christians – have much to learn too and that a process of shared learning,… Read more »

Charles Clapham
Guest

But what bits of learning do you think that those of use arguing against discrimination need to undertake, Simon? For myself, I was brought up in a conservative evangelical constituency, and, as a result of a reasonable theological education, could give a pretty good summary of the arguments by conservative evangelicals and by catholics against same sex relationships. But as a result of considerable personal experience, as well as considerable learning, I’ve come to realise they (and I) were wrong. Is there not a point where ethical reflection can and should result in commitment, rather than endless prevarication?

Fr Andrew
Guest
Fr Andrew

This is very laudable Simon, we all have much to learn. But while we’re busy learning, injustice continues to be perpetrated, the bullying continues, abuse is tolerated. Treat me as an equal first and then I’ll be happy to sit down and learn all about what makes bigots tick. Sure, there is good stuff in LLF, no denying, but it’s fairly meaningless if this is the only C of E response to LGBT people.

Kate
Guest
Kate

I do miss the occasional contributions of Martyn Percy to the debate. I pray that he is is doing well, managed to still have a joyous Christmas, and that he will soon be free once again to share his insights.

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

Well this thread has got TA off to a typically feisty New Year start! We have lurched from the main theme, LLF, with its usual and many detractors (including me), threats of peaceful and lawful resistance as a result of the interminable process (actually there is much more (unlawful) DIY same-sex marriage liturgical provision around than this thread infers – because some priests as well as some Readers (including one not a million miles from here) judge that to be the correct pastoral response) – and there will be more), Chalcedonian orthodoxy (need to dust off my fourth century Church… Read more »

crs
Guest
crs

The Great British Public comment was not mine but one I was responding to, as a notion foreign to all provincial polities. A church by law established may be a defensible idea, and it must be for those who have inherited it, but it is also eccentric measured against anglicanism tout court. And when it functions now against a vastly disinterested Great British Public, one wonders whether it makes any sense. It is hard to see this turning around, and it is dubious in the extreme to think a LGBT+ public embrace via same-sex marriage would budge a needle stuck… Read more »

crs
Guest
crs

Doubtful inference re: mission? Show the statistics that support your assertion, please.