The General Synod of the Church of England has approved the Living in Love and Faith proposals, brought forward by Bishop Martyn Snow, which will see standalone blessings for same sex couples taking place and a timetable agreed towards clergy same sex marriages.

John Dunnett, National Director, Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC), said:

“Yesterday was a milestone in that standalone services have received General Synod support and a timetable to work towards clergy same sex marriages has been endorsed.

“It is deeply disappointing that despite hearing repeatedly in speeches of the need to build trust by avoiding bad process, and CEEC’s continued advocacy of the insufficiency of delegated arrangements, Synod passed the Motion, and the Prayers of Love and Faith bus continues to move forward.

“The leaders of the Church of England seem intent on leading the church away from the biblical teaching and doctrine passed down through the centuries and shared by millions of Christians in the Anglican Communion today.

“CEEC continues to believe that structural reorganisation is the only provision that will guarantee orthodoxy going forward. General Synod’s decision will sadly trigger the launch of a de facto parallel province, as outlined by the recent Alliance letter to the archbishops and bishops, and CEEC will work with our partners in the Alliance to make this a reality. We are committed to remaining within the Church of England and hope that the bishops will come to the table to negotiate an acceptable settlement.”

The motion was carried narrowly by a vote by Houses – Bishops 22 for, 12 against; Clergy 99 for, 88 against; and Laity 95 for, 91 against. The General Synod heard from a range of speakers standing for orthodoxy, including CEEC members – Helen Lamb, Aneal Appadoo, Vaughan Roberts, and Bishop Paul Williams. The speeches tackled bad process and the resulting loss of trust, the likelihood that this motion amounts to a change of doctrine, and the need for a safe space for orthodoxy.

CEEC remains committed to Jesus’s commission to his local church to ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you’ (Matthew 28:19-20).

We dare to pray that even in these challenging times God will grant a revival harvest in this country.