Thinking Anglicans

LLF: criticisms from bishops and others

Updated Wednesday evening and again Thursday morning; also on 3 July

The latest LLF proposals are in GS 2358. (31 pages long) , and are explained more briefly by Helen King in LLF: Moving Forward as One Church (also linked in today’s Opinion roundup).

There are several items expressing various concerns about these proposals.

They are:
Ruth Bushyager, Bishop of Horsham
Jill Duff, Bishop of Lancaster
Jonathan Gibbs, Bishop of Rochester
James Grier, Bishop of Plymouth
Richard Jackson, Bishop of Hereford
Rob Munro, Bishop of Ebbsfleet
Mark Rylands, Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Exeter
Ric Thorpe, Bishop of Islington
Paul Thomas, Bishop of Oswestry
Andrew Watson, Bishop of Guildford
Paul Williams, Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham

The seven signatories are
The Rt Revd Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham, Chairman of The Society’s Council of Bishops
The Rt Revd Stephen Race, Bishop of Beverley
The Rt Revd Philip North, Bishop of Blackburn
The Rt Revd Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester
The Rt Revd Will Hazlewood, Bishop of Lewes
The Rt Revd Paul Thomas, Bishop of Oswestry
The Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield

11 bishops full text:

We are grateful for the hard work of all those who have contributed towards the latest proposals in the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) journey. We are painfully conscious of the considerable toll that that journey is taking on many of our churches, and especially our LGBTQI+ and same-sex attracted sisters and brothers. We remain prayerfully aware of our dependence on the “God of hope” to strengthen us all at a time of such deep disagreement, so that we might “overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). However, we are among a number of bishops unable to support the direction of travel presented to the bishops at our most recent meeting, or the proposals to be brought to General Synod later this month.

We welcome the emphasis on the importance of unity, but do not believe that the proposals will protect our unity in mission to the nation or our partnerships within the wider Church. We are persuaded that a commitment to unity will instead be demonstrated by the resolve we show to take the time we need to achieve sufficient consensus in relation to doctrinal matters. This is why we continue to call upon our fellow bishops and General Synod not to set aside the proper canonical procedures for considering theological and liturgical developments, which are intended to guard our unity. We regret the plan to reverse the House’s October decision, supported by Synod in November, to introduce standalone services by Canon B2.

While we recognise that General Synod voted in November by a small majority to explore new worship services, Synod has also committed itself to doing this in a way that does not depart from the doctrine of the Church. After much careful and intense work, it seems clear that this, together with changes to the disciplines for clergy in relation to the doctrine of marriage, is not possible without accepting a development that changes doctrine.

Although it is now being acknowledged that structural change to episcopal oversight will be required by the proposed developments, we believe the significance and extent of these structural changes are not being recognised. Many bishops are already concerned about the impact on the coherence of the Church’s life of moving ahead in a way that will create fundamental fragmentations at parish, diocesan and national levels.

We therefore urge Synod to rethink the process at this time, and request the bishops to enable further doctrinal work, bringing back proposals that will properly be considered under the governance of the necessary canons. We pray that, through prayer, wise counsel and good process, we may yet reach a consensus that is recognised as having legitimacy by all parts of the church and enables all to flourish in our shared mission to the nation and beyond.

SSWSH full text:

Please pray for the forthcoming General Synod in York. Together let us call upon the Holy Spirit for the gifts of wisdom, patience, and humility, especially in the discussion of Living in Love and Faith (LLF).

This complex matter has intensified the need for serious consideration of the theological work already being done by the Faith and Order Commission (FAOC) of the House of Bishops and, subsequently, of the implications of that work for doctrine and ecclesiastical law, which are essential to the Church’s mission.

We recognise the toll that this is taking among LGBTQI+ Christians, who are strongly present in so many of the parishes we have been formed in and now serve. We also register and share significant and growing disquiet among our evangelical brothers and sisters, whose vitality enriches our partnership in the gospel.

The Church of England made bold claims for the LLF journey. General Synod has discovered that the LLF timetable, and its possible outcomes, are more complex than had been expected. This is a journey of discernment that is taking longer than anyone could have anticipated. Its outcome cannot be predetermined.

As bishops of The Society, we continue to reflect and take counsel with our clergy who share with us in our ministry as guardians of the sacraments, as teachers of the faith, and as those called to exercise oversight of the people of God committed to our care.

May God, who sent us the light of His Holy Spirit, grant us to have a right judgement in all things and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort.

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Helen King
Helen King
28 days ago

So just the Bishop of Oswestry putting his signature to both of today’s new letters?

Last edited 28 days ago by Helen King
Pat Holmes
Pat Holmes
28 days ago

Sounds like a plea to ‘kick it down the road’ yet again!

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
28 days ago

Archbishop Justin will be 70 in 18 months time. The changes to the selection process make it likely that his successor will be conservative. Is it possible that some conservatives think that if progress can be stalled for another 18 months that there is a good chance the political impetus for PLF change will be gone?

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
Reply to  Kate Keates
28 days ago

If at present the Church of England continue the Sea saw policy for appointing Archbishops of Canterbury “Now we have had an Evangelical, we have got to have an Anglo-Catholic”, that could easily see Stephen Cottrell being translated to Canterbury for a short-term as a Caretaker Archbishop, until more women and men of sufficent Diocesan experience emerge who can provide a much wider pool of candidates for Canterbury. It could be reaching a point in C of E History, where this Sea Saw Policy between having an Evangelical or an Anglo Catholic at Canterbury is no longer viable nor sustainable… Read more »

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
28 days ago

I deliberately used “conservative” rather than “Evangelical” as I think the way is still open for a traditional Anglo Catholic.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Kate Keates
28 days ago

I fail to see how a traditional Anglo Catholic could lead a denomination which has become a homophobic sect of happy clappys.

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
28 days ago

Based on what criteria?

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
27 days ago

It is a bit early to speculate on the next occupant of the See of Canterbury, given that there is no current vacancy. However, I am not alone in worrying about the process, given the changes in the composition of the Canterbury CNC, which I did not support. The Canterbury CNC of 2012 had a hard enough time, and had to meet again before it could agree on a nomination. I was not a member, but did have a conversation with its chair, Lord Luce, at the time. I believe there are some excellent candidates (all current diocesans), but if… Read more »

Bryan Y
Bryan Y
Reply to  Anthony Archer
27 days ago

There is not a vacancy but ++Justin speaks openly about the fact that he will retire on 5 January 2026. So we are entering the final 18 months (max.) of his tenure by any reckoning.

Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
28 days ago

Bishops, I am praying. I have been praying for the better part of fifty years. One thing I am now certain of is that you are utterly unable to recognise the toll that this involves for gay people (not bisexual, intersex, queer, asexual or + peeps, who are not affected by this in the slightest, don’t dilute the hurt). You tie heavy burdens etc. I’m sure you know the verse.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
28 days ago

You are right to highlight the hurt but wrong to claim that only gay Christians are affected. You ignore lesbians who are affected in exactly the same way as gay Christians. You expressly say that bisexual and queer Christians are “not affected in the slightest”. I think that’s a deeply offensive statement and would ask you to reconsider it and apologise because they absolutely are affected. You are also wrong about the impact on trans, intersex and those whom you dismissively and unattractively refer to as “+ peeps”. As a significant number of conservatives don’t recognise us in our true… Read more »

Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
Reply to  Kate Keates
27 days ago

Kate, Lesbians are gay women, I included them. You OTOH are perfectly able to enter ‘Holy Matrimony’ TM in whatever gender you identify, as are asexuals, and queer Christians (unless you mean by that that they are homosexual, but then the term is redundant). So yes, only lesbian and gay people are affected.

Katy Adams
Katy Adams
Reply to  Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
27 days ago

A bi person who loves someone of their own gender is also affected

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
27 days ago

Lesbians prefer the term lesbian rather than misogynistically shoehorning them into the term gay. If someone who is bisexual marries someone of the same sex they are NOT gay, they are bisexual. Saying that they are gay suppresses their true identity, just as saying that they are straight does if they marry someone of the opposite sex. Bisexuals care very deeply about the issue. If I want to marry a man in a church like HTB that is allowed under Church of England rules but if I didn’t pass to whatever minister I saw he would treat me as a… Read more »

eye Tee
eye Tee
Reply to  Kate Keates
27 days ago

Just saying, I often describe myself as gay rather than lesbian. But I am of an age where I really dislike the term queer. Not every term offends everyone equally.

Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
Lorenzo Fernandez-Smal
Reply to  eye Tee
26 days ago

Same, I especially resent being called queer by people who are not even gay. Or them assuming that I must buy into queer theory or gender ideology because of my own orientation.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  eye Tee
26 days ago

Personally I don’t like the term queer either, nor trans for that matter, but our personal preferences aren’t the issue. What matters is that we embrace all the terms others prefer as well as those we prefer. It’s about being inclusive not restricting our support solely to those in our own particular furrow.

Tim Chesterton
28 days ago

Church Society: ‘This act first, think later approach is deeply destructive of the church and its clergy. Especially in matters of doctrine.’

Apparently they’ve slept through the forty-plus years of thinking that have been going on.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
28 days ago

The bishop signatories from the Society of Hinge and Bracket acknowledge the terrible toll the LLF process is taking on their many LGBTQ members. They then go on to say precisely nothing – except it’s taking a long time. It must take great courage to add one’s signature to a letter which is utterly meaningless.

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
28 days ago

Divorced and remarried bishops there too

Tobias Haller
28 days ago

There can never be perfect unity about holding mutually contradictory beliefs on anything other than beliefs mutually believed to be of sufficient unimportance. The Church of England is trapped in this tautology. The only escape would seem to be either ignoring one or the other minority and pressing on with change or stasis, or the confection of some structure that preserves the appearance of unity while allowing independence of action on whatever it is cannot be agreed upon.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Tobias Haller
28 days ago

You missed an option of describing something new as temporary or experimental in the hope people then feel less threatened. I think that might even be the plan – but I don’t think it will work.

Tobias Haller
Reply to  Kate Keates
27 days ago

I should not have missed that. In addition to “temporary or experimental” there is also “regional” — that is, allowing (or tolerating) change in one part or another of a larger entity or association to see if it “catches on.” This is, of course, how some changes came to the Anglican Communion through the years. One could also note that issues of hot debate at the time of the Reformation — the common cup and vernacular worship come immediately to mind — eventually became essentially universal in the Western church, including those parts of it that most strenuously fought against… Read more »

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
27 days ago

After years of LLF, now we are being asked about how the church changes its fundamental doctrine. A good question. The answer appears to be in the law courts. It turns out that unity does have its limits, and that’s the way it should be.

Philip Groves
Philip Groves
Reply to  Adrian Clarke
27 days ago

I am not surprised but upset by the arrogance of the Alliance. They seem to know what ‘The Global South’ thinks – when there is immense diversity among the Anglican provinces of the South. Many leaders of the Anglican Churches of the Global South are today attending the General Convention of TEC. There are more provinces represented there than are full members of GSFA. While one fully embraces equal marriage, and only a few others have accommodation, all but a few are prepared to be part of a Communion with Brazil, TEC, Scotland and Wales.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Philip Groves
27 days ago

The Global South Churches seem to be speaking pretty clearly and there doesn’t seem much controversy about the majority viewpoint. Consider this LSE blog: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/religionglobalsociety/2023/12/the-anti-colonial-conservative-revolution-in-the-anglican-communion/

Which GS leaders are visiting the TEC convention? I can’t find any coverage of it.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Peter S
25 days ago

Referenced in the article from the Global South we have:

1. archbishop of cape town
2. One bishop from Zimbabwe (church of the province of central Africa where the other bishops support GSFA)
3. archbishop of Jerusalem

Angusian
Angusian
Reply to  Philip Groves
26 days ago

An excellent balance from an informed contributor; hurrah for one who brings the global element of the Communion into the discussion!

Charles Read
27 days ago

The Church Society rejects the ‘pick a bishop ‘ approach (quite rightly in my view) but this is exactly what CEEC has been demanding for some time now. Church Society is part of CEEC. Is there disunity in the Conevo camp? Is this genuine and legitimate disagreement? Or is it the case that Church Society is not equipped to convene a celebratory event in a place where alcoholic beverages are manufactured?

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Charles Read
27 days ago

Charles,

You are making mischief.

CEEC wants legally consecrated orthodox bishops with their own independent authority over the congregations they serve. That is not being offered and therefore is not relevant to the Church Society critique.

The Church Society are rejecting the dogs breakfast that is being offered as an alternative which can be described as “pick a bishop”.

Disagree with the theology, if you must.

Do not invent “disunity in the conevo camp” where none exists as a political hit job on your opponents.

Charles Read
Reply to  Peter
27 days ago

Au contraire….

I am merely pointing out the lack of joined up thinking.

I have been a member of conevo churches and ministered in them. I do not regard them as the enemy, though I do think they are wrong on this.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Peter
27 days ago

So presumably, on the same argument,any lay member of these parishes can request an affirming minister? Or don’t lay people matter to the “orthodox” crowd?

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Peter
26 days ago

You are fundamentally wrong in talking about bishops having authority over the congregations (they) serve. Clergy are not there to serve congregations but to serve parishes. The era in which bishops had authority over parishioners is long gone. Many do not even accept Christianity. Why should they accept the authority of bishops?

Last edited 25 days ago by Simon Sarmiento
David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Charles Read
27 days ago

It is certainly very clear that the 11 bishops, Church Society, CEEC and The Alliance did not confer before they published their statements/letters. Had they done so they might have noticed they were not speaking with one voice or strategy – and as Charles notes, even contradicting each other. Which makes it all looks far less of a coordinated plan than it first appears.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  David Runcorn
27 days ago

Hi David and Charles I don’t see any evidence that any conservatives want a “pick a bishop” option. It’s certainly not what the Alliance or CEEC seem to be proposing. The Alliance keeps asking for introduction of PLF only after a two thirds core to change the canons. CEEC keep asking for a separate province – far more radical than “pick a bishop”. The Alliance now seem to be backing CEEC by saying “If you won’t agree to give us a separate province then we’ll start acting like we have one anyway.” This is far more radical than “pick a… Read more »

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Paul
27 days ago

I didn’t refer to ‘pick a bishop’ Paul. But it is not new. We are in the ordination season. You are obviously not aware, for example, that some conservative ordinands, for a while now, are demanding to choose the bishop who ordains them because they feel their own bishop is inclusive/liberal/apostate.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  David Runcorn
26 days ago

Do we know of any bishops who are allowing this David?

Bryan Y
Bryan Y
Reply to  Perry Butler
26 days ago

There is one ordinand in Manchester being ordained by a flying bishop—at the Anglo Catholic end of things. For the record, the conevo ordinands are being ordained by the Bishop of Manchester.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Bryan Y
25 days ago

But traditionalist Catholics wouldn’t be ordained by a bishop who had ordained women. I was thinking of ordinands requesting a bishop who had given assurances about their stance on SS relationships. I remember when I was a DDO in London 2 men withdrew very late because the Bp of London would not do more than say that he like other bishops had made the Declaration of Assent. Their names were still on the Order of Service. They were held back a year but were later ordained at St Helen’s,Bishopsgate by +Sandy Millar. I wonder if they are still in the… Read more »

Paul
Paul
Reply to  David Runcorn
26 days ago

Apologies, I thought you were agreeing with Charles, he used the phrase “pick a bishop”. What do you see as the contradictions between Church Society, CEEC and The Alliance?

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
Reply to  Paul
25 days ago

Paul. Here’s how it looks to me. This is all very uncoordinated. Church Society is part of CEEC. In their rambling rant they complain that alternative episcopal oversight undermines the unity of a diocesan bishop (quite right there) but seem to have missed that this is exactly what CEEC is campaigning for! The 11 bishops wrote out of concern for unity, not separation. CEEC says no unity is possible at all on this issue. The Alliance gives every impression that those 11 ‘Orthodox bishops’ are their chosen ones for the new province. Unity or schism then? CEEC now add a statement… Read more »

Paul
Paul
Reply to  David Runcorn
25 days ago

Thanks David,

I think CEEC have consistently said that alternative episcopal oversight will be insufficient which is what Church Society are also saying.

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
27 days ago

I find it beyond belief that so anodyne a set of proposed prayers can cause so much negative, almost paranoid, responses.
Proposers have fallen over backwards to say what this set of prayers is not.
This is the Church of England at its most feeble gutlessness.
And men and women of conscience and care walk past on the other side.
Why is it we keep nailing more and more nails in the coffin under the guise of orthodoxy?
It is like being associated with a powerful band of Flat Earthers.

Thomas G. Reilly
Thomas G. Reilly
Reply to  Struggling Anglican
27 days ago

Why are the rigid Evangelicals and the rigid Anglo-Catholics so obsessed by sex in the Bible, and base their rigidity on the Old Testament and Paul, while disregarding Jesus’ warnings about the awful dangers of wealth and power, warnings spread all over the Gospels? How often have we heard them criticise the obscenely wealthy, the hedge-fund managers, employers who exploit very low-paid workers ? They never seem o quote the Sermon on the Mount, or the words of Jesus at the Last Judgement, or Jesus’ condemnation of those who wanted him to stay clear of “sinners”, most of whom were… Read more »

RogerB
RogerB
Reply to  Thomas G. Reilly
27 days ago

Not to mention that Jesus said that at the resurrection there would be no giving in marriage, or marriage so they are arguing over something that will be over in the twinkling of an eye.

Bob
Bob
Reply to  RogerB
26 days ago

Don’t forget that Jesus taught that marriage is between one man and one woman too!

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Bob
26 days ago

Did He? I assume you mean Matthew 29:4-6. Certainly Jesus talks about a man and woman marrying but I don’t read anything in that passage which says that is the only possible type of marriage. It reads as an example rather than an instruction.

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Kate Keates
26 days ago

Correction: Matthew 19.

Sorry

Bob
Bob
Reply to  Kate Keates
25 days ago

Then why did Jesus not widen the definition of marriage to be more inclusive? Surely He didn’t want anyone to feel excluded.

Matthew Tomlinson
Matthew Tomlinson
Reply to  Bob
22 days ago

Where did he teach that? It’s better to read what the Bible actually says rather than what people like John Stott think that it says.

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  Thomas G. Reilly
27 days ago

AMEN!!

Mitch McLean
Mitch McLean
Reply to  Thomas G. Reilly
26 days ago

No-one is proposing ‘Prayers of Greed and Faith’ or asking for us to bless their exploitative workplace relationships. We’re not fighting about generosity because we agree about it.
Sexuality is where we disagree, so it’s where the battle lines are drawn.

Last edited 26 days ago by Mitch McLean
John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Mitch McLean
26 days ago

No – that’s because the church is happy with a social system based on greed and corrupt use of power, so long as it preserves a status quo which they are happy with / in hock to.

Prayers of Greed and Faith might actually be a good subject for a new liturgy, given the known behaviour of some very wealthy Christians on the evangelical right. Jesus made a comment about the ease with which a laden camel could pass through a very narrow space in that respect, didn’t he?

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Thomas G. Reilly
26 days ago

Ah, yes, very true – but remember, we don’t bite the hands that feed us, do we? The churches (not just the CofE) were some of the most ardent opponents of William Wilberforce – because they were doing very nicely indeed out of the slavery business.

Mark
Reply to  John Davies
25 days ago

I don’t think it was because of “doing very nicely indeed out of the slavery business” that many church leaders opposed the abolitionist movement. It was rather because of believing that whatever had always been done was therefore right to continue always being done. That was the point – the Church is a conservative institution, obviously, because it seeks to pass on a traditional culture (“tradidi quod et accepi”): the question for each generation of Christians is exactly what aspects of that traditional culture are appropriate to maintain and which ones should be dropped.

Angusian
Angusian
Reply to  Struggling Anglican
26 days ago

Sadly we have forgotten the use of the word ‘interim’ in publishing a liturgy (I remember those 70s booklets before ASB !

FearandTremolo
FearandTremolo
27 days ago

So, how many bishops are there in the CofE? I’ve got the number 120 in my head, which means that we’ve got about 10% of the bishops signing these statements, wooly though they may be, right?

Mark
Reply to  FearandTremolo
27 days ago

The answer to the question “How many bishops are there in the C of E?” is “At least ten times too many, given the dwindling size of the Church under their leadership.”

Francis James
Francis James
27 days ago

Always good to have a piece by Ian Paul, it serves to remind me how much I disagree with him.

John Twine
John Twine
Reply to  Francis James
26 days ago

Quite. It is a bit like the (few) occasions I have had cause to read his blog. Every time I view the comments there I again realise what a hateful site it is – it positively reeks. I am so glad Nottingham is a long way away from me.

Alwyn Hall
Alwyn Hall
Reply to  Francis James
25 days ago

Whilst I know it’s important to read and try to understand the views of those with whom you disagree, Ian Paul’s writings, and the contributions of both him and his commentators, cause my blood pressure to rise too much for it to be safe.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
27 days ago

These bishops are sore losers. They need to get with the programme and stop throwing their dollies out of the pram.

Graham Watts
Graham Watts
Reply to  Fr Dean
27 days ago

Let them walk! Part of me envies them that they are so (closed minded) certain that they have it right and anyone with alternate views or still questioning are totally wrong. Then I rethink and know that their position is not something to evny. So go on and get out.. Have the confidence of your convictions and independently stride out into the real world Leave your CofE owned house, your pension, your paid council tax and water charges. The church building is not yours so leave that too. Take a lead from previous clergy who have disagreed with the direction… Read more »

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
Reply to  Graham Watts
27 days ago

What is certain is that they cannot be permitted to unilaterally set up their own structures. The CofE breaks down if they are not stopped.

Better as you say that they leave than have a clique within the church.

Last edited 27 days ago by Kate Keates
Peter
Peter
Reply to  Kate Keates
26 days ago

“The C of E breaks down if they are not stopped”

How exactly do you imagine “they” are going to be stopped ?

Martin Sewell
Martin Sewell
Reply to  Graham Watts
27 days ago

I have known clergy with that moral courage : some of them have been great allies in the Safeguarding struggle calling out their own tribe. They are people of integrity and I accord them total respect and we remain in good fellowship whilst not agreeing on other matters.

This is what is so frustrating: we are modelling what good disagreement looks like founded on our joint compassion for those horrendously abused directly and indirectly by those who will be wringing their hands at Synod and failing the vulnerable.

Bryan Y
Bryan Y
Reply to  Graham Watts
27 days ago

Wonderful to see such Christian love and charity on display.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Bryan Y
25 days ago

Oh charming! Queer members of the CofE are meant to put up with the delaying tactics and none too subtle homophobia of this minority group in the church. None of this constituency are going to be forced to do ‘gay’ weddings, they can clutch their pearls and say “no, no, no!” But because they’re squeamish about gay sex we’re supposed to be ‘Christian’ about their ‘pain’. Graham is right to invite them to take their pain elsewhere. Bishop Bushyager has given a platform to those advocating gay conversion therapy and ought to have faced disciplinary action – instead she was… Read more »

Graham Watts
Graham Watts
Reply to  Fr Dean
24 days ago

Thanks Fr Dean. Despite all their bluster could this group actually legally do these things anyway? I thought that the CofE, being the established church and governed by Ecclesiastical Law aka law of the land could only make changes like this once the legislation has been drawn up, passed by the houses of synod and then gone through parliament. So as certain as they are of their belief being the correct one I didn’t think that they could autonomously take these steps as part of the Church of England. So if they were to leave of course they could form… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Graham Watts
22 days ago

For a mordant reflection see Anglican Futures blog..a Paper Province or a Proper Province. I suppose it will depend on how many parishes avail themselves of this ” oversight” and what the ” overseers ” actually do

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Graham Watts
22 days ago

I think bluster is the whole point Graham. They know that they’ll not get this privileged silo; but making a fuss about it helps to keep milquetoast bishops dithering.

Marian Birch
Marian Birch
24 days ago

I actually find it rather strange to see that two women bishops – both evangelical – have signed this letter. That is because if one is going to take ‘the Bible’ (and particularly the New Testament) as one’s primary criterion for the life, doctrine and organisation of the Church then it has far more explicitly critical comments to make about women in leadership than it does about committed same sex relationships. What is the logic of Bishops Ruth and Jill? That’s quite apart from the fact that allowing people to exercise public ministry who have been divorced and re-married (which… Read more »

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