Can we make ‘simple pastoral provision’ for same-sex relationships?

Andrew Goddard writes: In his diocesan synod presidential address the Bishop of Southwark joined the still quite small group of bishops (from the dioceses of Oxford, Worcester and Portsmouth) who have stated their hopes for the corporate Living in Love and Faith discernment process in which the bishops are currently engaged. Like all the previous … Continue Reading

Can Parliament force the C of E to change its doctrine of marriage?

Labour MP Ben Bradshaw has called for the Church of England to change its doctrine of marriage or face the threat of disestablishment.  His comments were prompted by the refusal of Hereford Diocese to allow same-sex married Mpho Tutu van Furth, daughter of the late Desmond Tutu, from officiating at her godfather’s funeral. Bradshaw claimed … Continue Reading

What is the Bishop of Oxford thinking?

Steven Croft, the bishop of Oxford, yesterday published a booklet Together in Love and Faith, in which he sets out his thinking about same-sex relationships, and proposes that the Church of England should provide public services for the blessing of same-sex civil partnerships and marriages, but allow a conscience clause for those who dissent, and eventually … Continue Reading

What are the practical implications following Living in Love and Faith?

Andrew Goddard writes: Whatever is decided in relation to the teaching of the Church of England and the options considered in the previous article, the bishops also need to consider a number of practical questions as they propose the direction for the Church of England going forward. Here there are at least four broad areas to consider: … Continue Reading

What are the options after Living in Love and Faith?

Andrew Goddard writes: What follows builds on the previous article’s account of where the Church of England is in its LLF process of discernment, the importance of the bishops providing a theological argument for the way forward, and the need to recognise that we begin with an existing, long-established teaching on what constitutes a chaste … Continue Reading

Do efforts to change sexual orientation (‘conversion therapy’) cause harm?

The UK Government has been holding a consultation on the possibility of making illegal ‘conversion therapy’, a provocative term for what is more widely known (in the literature) as SOCE (sexual orientation change efforts), which ends tonight (4th February 2022). Because the term is poorly defined, and explicitly includes ‘talking therapies’ which could include pastoral … Continue Reading

On the appointment of senior leaders in the Church

On 6th January, it was announced that Stephen Knott, who has been working as part of the Lambeth Palace team, was appointed to be Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments in succession to Caroline Boddington. The role has attracted attention in the past, since Caroline developed the role so that it had significant control over the process … Continue Reading