Many clergy and/or PCCs now feel in impaired fellowship with their bishops as a result of their bishop’s support for the Prayers of Love and Faith.
While they recognise the ongoing formal and legal role of their bishops, the reality is that many people (both lay and clergy) are feeling isolated, and long for support and spiritual oversight from people continuing to hold the biblical and Anglican view of marriage.
CEEC is therefore facilitating the provision of such support in order to help clergy and parishes receive spiritual oversight without having to look outside of the Church of England. This is a temporary provision which will support evangelicals until a settlement based on structural provision is made available.
We are pleased that a group of Honorary Assistant bishops have agreed to initiate this ministry and we will be discerning who God might be calling to join them in making this provision as non-consecrated overseers. We have appointed a diverse panel of experienced leaders from across the evangelical constituency (spanning charismatics and conservatives, egalitarians and complementarians) to discern whom God might be calling to such an role. This panel will be chaired by CEEC President Julian Henderson (the previous Bishop of Blackburn) and includes two other Honorary Assistant bishops.
Clergy and/or parishes, seeking alternative spiritual oversight, must continue to be accountable for safeguarding to their diocesan bishop and safeguarding officers.
This provision is both informal and temporary and will serve as a stepping-stone to the formal and permanent provision which we hope and pray will be agreed as part of a new structural arrangement and settlement.