The House of Bishops in the Church of England reached a significant turning point in their discussions regarding the Living in Love and Faith initiative.
They have been striving to find a consensus on this issue but encountered a major hurdle during their recent meeting.
Regrettably, they were unable to support the decisions made on Monday due to profound disagreements within the House.
The House of Bishops acknowledges the need for the General Synod to play its rightful role in matters concerning liturgy and doctrine under Canon B2. However, they are concerned that the decision to commend a set of prayers for use in public services bypasses established procedures, preventing the General Synod from fully examining the significance of these prayers. They also question whether these decisions align with the Church of England’s doctrine, as initially intended.
Furthermore, the House of Bishops firmly believes that they should uphold their commitment to present the Prayers of Love and Faith, along with pastoral guidance and reassurance, to the General Synod as a comprehensive package, rather than in a piecemeal manner. They argue that the collective decisions made by the House do not adequately safeguard the pastoral stability, mission, and unity of the Church.
Despite these challenging and divisive matters, the bishops are resolute in their commitment to continue seeking a way forward that benefits the entire Church. They also emphasize the importance of providing pastoral care for all members of the Church. Additionally, they stress the significance of adhering to good governance practices, even at this late stage.
The bishops are urging their fellow bishops and the Archbishops, who serve as joint Presidents of the General Synod, to reconsider the course of action they have outlined during their recent meeting. This request reflects their deep concerns and desire to ensure that the best interests of the Church and its members are upheld.
The following bishops have publicly dissented from the House of Bishops’ decisions:
- The Bishop of Blackburn, Philip North
- The Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner
- The Bishop of Ebbsfleet, Rob Munro
- The Bishop of Guildford, Andrew Watson
- The Bishop of Hereford, Richard Jackson
- The Bishop of Islington, Ric Thorpe
- The Bishop of Lancaster, Jill Duff
- The Bishop of Oswestry, Paul Thomas
- The Bishop of Rochester, Jonathan Gibbs
- The Bishop of Sheffield, Pete Wilcox
- The Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, Paul Williams
The House of Bishops within the Church of England is facing internal discord over the Living in Love and Faith initiative. The bishops have been unable to reach a consensus, leading to their public dissent from the decisions made during their recent meeting.
They express concerns about the process and the potential impact on the Church’s doctrine and unity. Nevertheless, they remain committed to finding a way forward that benefits the entire Church and to providing pastoral care for all members. They also urge their colleagues and Archbishops to reconsider the course of action taken during the meeting.