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Christian Concern

ACTION: Ask the Bishops to stand up for marriage

Sir Joseph Pilling
On 28th November 2013, the Church of England published a crucial report by the House of Bishops Working Group on Sexuality (Pilling Report), outlining its recommendations for the recognition of same-sex relationships by the CofE.

The Report suggests that, while the Church of England should not change its official teaching on marriage and sexuality, it should enter into a period of “facilitated conversions” to allow local clergy to bless same sex partnerships informally, using unauthorised liturgies. 

However, to allow informal blessings of same-sex relationships, while claiming not to change the church’s teaching, would in practice and in fact, change the church’s traditional teaching on the issue. 

The College of Bishops meets next Monday (27th January) to give serious consideration to the proposals put forward by the Pilling Report.

Please write to the Bishops, urging them to affirm the Bible’s clear teaching on marriage and sexuality and to give courageous leadership which is faithful to Scripture.

Concerns about the Report which you may wish to make are:
  • The report as a whole appeals to the secular world-view by seeking to accommodate same sex relationships
  • The liberal view of Scripture adopted by the Report is hugely concerning as it suggests that Scripture does not offer conclusive teaching on the issue of homosexual practice
  • The Report wrongly claims that Scripture and theology are apparently unclear on the rightness of homosexual practice, but urges the church to go ahead and bless such practice anyway, as long as the relationships are ‘permanent, faithful and stable’
  • The Bible offers clear teaching on how humans are best able to flourish and we appeal to you as Bishops to reinforce the commitment to biblical teaching
  • Permitting services to bless same sex unions would be a direct denial of the authority and teachings of the Bible, and would result in serious division, distress and acrimony within the Church
  • Allowing clergy to offer an informal blessing, and claiming that this does not change traditional Anglican teaching, is too fine a distinction and potentially contradictory for the wide Christian community and beyond
  • True pastoral care in the case of those experiencing same-sex attraction is to help them live Christianly and it is wrong to separate teaching and practice
Please also ask the Bishops to support the strong dissent to the Report issued by the Bishop of Birkenhead, which you can read here >

Click here to read the full text of the Pilling Report >

See below for contact details of the Bishops:
Archbishop of Canterbury The Most Rev and Rt Hon
Justin Welby
Archbishop of York The Most Rev and Rt Hon
John Sentamu
Bishop of London The Rt Rev and Rt Hon
Richard Chartres
Bishop of Winchester The Rt Rev
Timothy Dakin
Bishop of Bath & Wells
Christine Treanor
 (Personal Assistant)
Bishop of Birmingham The Rt Rev
David Urquhart
Bishop of Bristol The Rt Rev
Michael Hill
Bishop of Chester The Rt Rev
Peter Forster
Bishop of Coventry The Rt Rev
Bishop of Derby The Rt Rev Dr
Alastair Redfern
Bishop of Exeter
Suffragan Bishop of
Crediton The Rt Revd
Nick McKinnel
Bishop of Gloucester The Rt Rev
Michael Perham
Bishop of Guildford
Suffragan Bishop of Dorking
The Rt Revd Ian Brackley
Bishop of Hereford The Rt Rev
Anthony Priddis
Bishop of Leicester The Rt Rev
Timothy Stevens
Bishop of Lichfield The Rt Rev
Jonathan Gledhill
Bishop of Liverpool
Contact Nerys Cooke
(Secretary of Suffragan Bishop
The Rt Revd
Richard Blackburn)
Bishop of Newcastle The Rt Rev
Martin Wharton
Bishop of Norwich The Rt Rev
Graham James
Bishop of Oxford The Rt Rev
John Pritchard
Bishop of Ripon and Leeds The Rt Rev
John Packer
Bishop of St Edmundsbury
& Ipswich
The Right Rev
David Thomson
Bishop of Truro The Rt Rev Timothy Thornton
Bishop of Wakefield The Rt Rev Stephen Platten
Bishop of Worcester The Rt Rev Dr John Inge
Bishop of Salisbury  The Rt Rev
Nicholas Holtman 
Bishop of Winchester  The Rt Rev
Tim Dakin
Bishop of Portsmouth The Rt Rev
Christopher Foster
Bishop of Chichester The Rt Rev Dr
Martin Warner
Bishop of Rochester The Rt Rev
James Langstaff
Bishop of Southwark The Rt Revd
Christopher Chessun
Bishop of Chelmsford  The Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell
Bishop of St Albans The Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith
Bishop of Ely  The Right Revd
Stephen Conway 
Bishop of Peterborough  The Rt Revd
Donald Allister
Bishop of Hereford
Contact Julie Milne
(Personal Assistant)
Bishop of Southwell
& Nottingham 
Suffragan Bishop The Rt Revd
Tony Porter, Bishop of Sherwood
Bishop of Lincoln  The Rt Revd
Christopher Lowson
Bishop of Sheffield  The Rt Revd
Steven Croft
Bishop of Manchester  The Rt Revd
D S Walker (David)
Bishop of Bradford  The Rt Revd
 Nick Baines
Bishop of Blackburn  The Rt Revd
 Julian Henderson
Bishop of Durham  The Right Revd
Paul Butler
Bishop of Carlisle  The Rt Revd
James Newcome
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