A new document has been published today, signed by the following bishops
The Bishop of Fulham, Jonathan Baker
The Bishop of Horsham, Ruth Bushyager
The Bishop of Coventry, Christopher Cocksworth
The Bishop of Woolwich, Karowei Dorgu
The Bishop of Lancaster, Jill Duff
The Bishop of Rochester, Jonathan Gibbs
The Bishop of Hereford, Richard Jackson
The Bishop of Carlisle, James Newcombe [sic]
The Bishop of Leicester, Martyn Snow
The Bishop of Islington, Ric Thorpe
The Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner
The Bishop of Guildford, Andrew Watson
The Bishop of Sheffield, Pete Wilcox
The Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham, Paul Williams
The full document can be read here.
The paper begins this way:
Since the publication of the Bishops’ LLF Proposal for the consideration of General Synod, a range of lay and ordained people from across the church have asked for some guidance in understanding why many Christians in the Church of England and the Anglican Communion, together with Christians from across the churches of world Christianity, continue to believe that marriage is given by God for the union of a man and woman and that it cannot be extended to those who are of the same sex.
We felt, therefore, that it would be constructive to make available a relatively short theological summary of the doctrine of marriage as the Church of England has received it, and how it relates particularly to changes in society around same-sex partnerships. This paper does not seek to repeat what is set out more comprehensively in chapter 3 of the LLF Book but rather to build upon it.
This paper emerged from study and conversations in recent months among a number of bishops, evangelical and catholic. It was helpful not only to us but also to other bishops of the same mind, in clarifying some of our own thinking and prayerful discernment on these important matters as we contributed to the LLF deliberations in the College of Bishops. We now offer the paper below to clergy and congregations at this important time in the life of the Church to inform their understanding, recognising that for some it will be welcome support while for others it may clarify points of disagreement. In offering this paper we are committed to continue to listen and learn from those with whom we disagree.
Few readers of this paper will feel neutral about it. Some will be instinctively grateful for it, while for others it may compound their sense of disappointment. Without seeking to diminish the value of many committed same-sex relationships, for which there is much to give thanks, we find ourselves constrained by what we sincerely believe the Scriptures teach which cannot be set aside. We pray this will be a constructive contribution to the life and ministry of the Church while the work of discernment continues in General Synod and elsewhere.