Following their meeting on 13 February 2014, the House of Bishops of the Church of England issued a statement of Pastoral Guidance on 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.
Bishop John writes:
“There’s a link here to the House of Bishops Pastoral Letter in response to the forthcoming change in legislation to permit same sex marriage. As the letter makes clear we aren’t changing the long-established understanding of marriage as between one man and one woman, and we expect our clergy to live in a way that is consistent with the Church’s teaching.
“The letter recognises that there is a range of views across the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion, and these views are reflected in the House of Bishops.
“It’s important to recognise that this letter will be difficult for some people, and that, as I said last December, we are committed to the ongoing conversation recommended in the Pilling Report. I hope that those conversations (of which more will emerge in the summer) will demonstrate respect for different perspectives and show kindness and humility as we wrestle with these questions and continue the journey towards understanding. Love and prayer are the most important gifts we can bring to the task.”
15 February 2014