England & Wales

Anglican Christians in the UK are often characterised by the media as being at war with secular society and its acceptance that LGBT people will wish to form lasting partnerships – and stay together in bed and breakfasts.

The reality is far more complex, with the House of Bishops deeply divided.  While some bishops privately urge their gay clergy to contract civil partnerships and are accepting of gay sexual relationships, others oppose any change of view by the church.  Consequently, many gay clergy either leave ministry or conduct their personal lives in secrecy.

Meanwhile the Archbishop of Canterbury, known to be liberal in his private views, seeks to hold together an Anglican Communion which includes profoundly homophobic societies in the Global South and the liberals in North America.  The tension means that the Church in England and Wales is squeezed into a position out of step with the society that surrounds it, feeding secular dismissiveness of the Church.

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