Following the General Synod vote to move ahead with the preparation of Prayers of Love and Faith (as proposed by the bishops) to affirm and celebrate relationships outside traditional marriage (one man and one woman), CEEC is calling on evangelical churches, leaders and members to express concern in order that we might hold on to a biblical vision for sex and marriage. Click the button below this article to read the full ‘menu’ of actions CEEC is asking churches, leaders and members to consider. Here are some of the ‘headlines’: Write to your bishop(s): Tell them that you believe the proposed prayers are indicative of a departure from the doctrine of the Church of England concerning marriage and sexual intimacy, inform them that you have asked your clergy not to use the prayers and ask that – following the example of the Archbishop of Canterbury in relation to the Anglican Communion – they themselves commit publicly to refrain from using the prayers. If your bishop voted against the House of Bishops proposals at General Synod please thank him/her for doing so. In your parish Your voice matters – so if you are a regular worshipping member of a local church take action now:
- Write to your clergy about your concerns (so that they are informed and can relay the level of such concerns to the bishop)
- As a PCC, formally support the actions of your clergy, e.g. declaring support in relation to any alternative episcopal oversight they ask for
- If you are a warden, ask to be able to use promises at your swearing in ceremony that do not compromise you theologically
- Encourage people to sign up to the CEEC e-bulletin for regular news here.
- Circulate CEEC resources such as the video series “God’s Beautiful Story” here.
- Get more involved in your local Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship (DEF)/Diocesan Evangelical Network (DEN) and encourage other church members to do the same.
- Commit to pray together for one another, the Church of England, and the Anglican Communion.
Given that the bishops are pursuing a trajectory away from biblical teaching, many individuals and PCCs will feel they must begin to review their financial commitments in the light of their responsibilities to be faithful stewards and trustees. Among the options for PCCs to consider are:
- Suspend or delay any payment above and beyond the cost of any stipendiary ministers (and reasonable contributions to diocesan services including safeguarding) at your church
- Ask your local DEF to set up a Good Stewards Trust (if there is not one already) through which your giving to the diocese could be channelled
- Set up your own parochial trust into which any assets can be put that are not property of the DBF (inc equipment like PA gear, instruments (not the organ), office equipment etc.
Engagement with the diocese Continue to engage with Deanery Synod since the lay members of that are the electorate for lay members of General Synod. Withdraw from other diocesan events as you feel appropriate (e.g. if your Cathedral Dean signed the letter authored by the Dean of Canterbury, inform the Dean of the damage this has caused to your relationship to the cathedral and that you will not be attending services/events there in the future).