The Bishop of Lincoln has issued an Ad Clerum following the House of Bishops meeting and the letter and pastoral statement issued on Saturday.
The House of Bishops met last week to discuss the implications for the Church of the forthcoming change of legislation which will next month allow same-sex marriage. After its discussions, the House issued a statement which outlined the position of the Church in respect to same-sex marriage. The statement comes as an appendix to a pastoral letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York addressed to the clergy and people of the Church of England. The text of the letter and the statement are reproduced below.
As Bishop of Lincoln, I must draw your attention to the statement, and particularly the parts which affect current or potential congregation members, clergy and ordinands.
The House of Bishops recognises the strongly held and divergent views on this issue, both within the Church of England and across the Anglican Communion. These differences are also reflected within the House of Bishops. We are committed to the recommendation of the Pilling Report that the subject of sexuality, with its history of deeply entrenched views, would best be addressed by facilitated conversations, ecumenically, across the Anglican Communion and at national and diocesan level and that this should continue to involve profound reflection on the interpretation and application of Scripture. The Report recommends that these conversations should set the discussion of sexuality within the wider context of human flourishing.
I would be very pleased to receive your comments and opinions on the statement, and on the issue generally. For some, the statement might be considered too weak; for others, too strong. As I lead the Diocese with a vision of growing in faith, confidence and joy, it is important to know how individuals and communities see the issue of same-sex marriage, as well as the many other issues which impact on our ministry and mission as the Church seeks to be an effective, relevant and respected force for good, both now and well into the future.
With every good wish,
The Right Reverend Christopher Lowson
The Bishop of Lincoln