We are deeply saddened and profoundly grieved that General Synod has given a ‘green light’ to the proposals put forward by the House of Bishops. The Church of England now appears set on a course of action that rejects our historic and biblical understanding of sex and marriage, by departing from the apostolic faith we are called to uphold. This decision will be extremely distressing for evangelicals in this country today, as they consider the impact of the decision on their ministry and as they continue to contend for Jesus in their local contexts.
This seems to us to be a lose-lose position for everyone in the Church of England. Those who wanted more change will continue to ask and push for greater change. Those of us who have been trying to uphold the historic and biblical understanding of marriage and singleness say change has gone too far. This decision has settled nothing and has only served to deepen divisions and cause deeper hurt.
We will continue to work alongside evangelicals across the country, who today share our sense of great sadness and dismay, to contend for biblical faithfulness and to live lives that Jesus has called us to. We are grateful that several speakers noted the need for some kind of settlement, though this would need to be without theological compromise. We believe that putting in place new imaginative structures, ‘good differentiation’, is the only way we are going to be able to reach a settled outcome, that maintains the highest degree of unity possible within the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.