Contributors at the recent Alliance day with orthodox ordinands (L to R): Vaughan Roberts, Sarah Jackson, John Dunnett and Tom Middleton


Church leaders have called on bishops in the Church of England to allow ‘pastoral provision’ for those being ordained this summer and going forwards, as an urgent priority.

Church leaders, who are part of the Alliance, issued a letter to all diocesan bishops in the Church of England, following a meeting with 80 ordinands last Thursday in London.

The Alliance is an informal partnership of leaders from networks within the Church of England, including the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC), Church Society, the HTB Network, Living Out, Myriad, New Wine, ReNew and The Society.

John Dunnett, National Director, Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) and a Director of the Alliance, said: “During the meeting we heard directly from ordinands about the depth of concern they share in relation to Living in Love and Faith. How can we expect people who are committing themselves to a lifetime of ministry and service to make promises to a bishop who has indicated support for a departure from the Church’s doctrine on sex and marriage? This group of ordinands needs to be listened to. They feel powerless and without a voice in this whole process.”

In the letter, the Alliance asked that the bishops permit “ordination by a bishop who publicly supports the Church of England’s current teaching and discipline in relation to marriage and sexual ethics which the ordinands themselves accepted and agreed to live within when they were recommended for training – accommodating individual consciences in the midst of pastoral uncertainty”.


The Alliance has asked that the bishops “do not insist that these ordinands have to choose between their conscience and their calling”. The Alliance has also suggested that should further changes be implemented at the next General Synod in July, the impact will hit not only those getting ordained this summer but the whole pipeline of ordinands.

The letter has been signed by a broad group of orthodox leaders in the Church of England (full list of signatories below).

Fr Adam Gaunt, Chair of Catholic Group in General Synod

Emma Joy Gregory, Vice-Chair of Catholic Group in General Synod

Tom Middleton, Director of Forward in Faith and Secretary of the Council of Bishops of The Society

Busola Sodeinde, Church Commissioner and UK Global Majority rep

Ade Adebajo, Lay Chair of London Diocesan Synod, Chair of Lambeth Partners and UK Global Majority rep

Canon Dr. Addy Lazz-Onyenobi, Member of General Synod and UK Global Majority rep

Revd Dr. Rich Johnson, National Leader, New Wine

Revd Wole Agbaje, Head of Young Adults, New Wine

Revd John Coles, New Wine Ambassador

Revd Paul Harcourt, former National Leader, New Wine

Revd Canon Paul Langham, National Leadership Team, New Wine on General Synod

Revd Archie Coates, Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton and Head of HTB Network

Revd Nicky Gumbel, President of Revitalise Trust, HTB Network

Revd Sarah Jackson, CEO of Revitalise Trust, and Chair of HTB Network on General Synod

Revd Jago Wynne, Vice-Chair of HTB Network on General Synod

Revd Canon John Dunnett, Chair of Evangelical Group on General Synod (EGGS)

Jane Patterson, Secretary of Evangelical Group on General Synod (EGGS)

Rt. Revd Julian Henderson, President of Church of England Evangelical Council

Sarah Tett, Trustee of Church of England Evangelical Council

Revd Kieran Bush, Chair of the ReNew Planning Team

Debbie Buggs, Member of ReNew and Member of General Synod and of the Crown Nominations Commission

Revd Canon John McGinley, Church Planting Network Leader

Ed Shaw, Ministry Director of Living Out

Revd Canon Vaughan Roberts, Co-Founder of Living Out

Rt. Revd Keith Sinclair, Trustee of Living Out

Helen Lamb, Trustee of Living Out

Revd Dr. Lee Gatiss, Director of Church Society

All signatories are leaders of networks/organisations but are signing in their personal capacities, recognising they cannot claim to speak for everyone that they lead.

Around 2000 clergy and licensed lay ministers have now expressed their support for the work of the Alliance, and the ordinands present on Thursday included those from across the different networks.