Church of England plans to introduce same-sex prayer blessings

18 January 2023

In a landmark moment, confirming the Church of England’s (CofE) departure from Biblical teaching on human sexuality, bishops have announced plans to allow ‘prayers’ and ‘blessings’ for same-sex couples in civil partnerships in its churches.

In the statement the Bishops say they will urge all congregations in their care to welcome same-sex couples “unreservedly and joyfully” as they reaffirm their commitment to a “radical new Christian inclusion founded in scripture, in reason, in tradition, in theology and the Christian faith as the Church of England has received it – based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and in a proper 21st Century understanding of being human and of being sexual”. 

The bishops met on Tuesday to discuss and finalise their recommendations for a debate on the Church’s position on same-sex marriage at General Synod next month.

The move follows the UK government announcing yesterday plans to ban what the LGBT lobby call ‘conversion therapy’. The proposals will criminalise prayer and certain types of consensual conversations.

‘Disregarding the Bible’s teaching on marriage’

Responding to the news, Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern and former lay member of general synod, said: “This is capitulation by the Church of England. The bishops have lost the courage and conviction to state clearly the beauty of God’s vision for marriage between one man and one woman. Such a vision is clear and uncompromising and leads to a healthy and happy society.

“The Church of England is making way for the celebration of ‘same-sex marriage’ in all but name. 

“Whilst not formally changing the doctrine of marriage as between one man and one woman for life, the Church of England  is planning to completely disregard the Bible’s teaching on marriage and act as if the long-established and still current doctrine counts for nothing.

“Church doctrine matters and the Church of England is being inconsistent and contradictory when it allows practices that do not conform to God’s vision for marriage as set out in the Bible between one man and one woman.

“The Church of England institutions are formalising what they have, in fact, been doing for years by formally holding to its historic teaching but practicing and promoting the complete opposite.

“Christianity teaches that sexual expression is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman. Any other form of sexual relationships are sexually immoral. The bible calls it sin. The Church of England is now encouraging the celebration of sexual immorality. Let’s be clear this is a critical moment and will go down in history as a turning point in the decline and fall of the Church of England.

“This is a landmark moment and will go down in history as a turning point in the decline and fall of the Church of England – unless these proposals can be decisively resisted by the faithful in Synod.”

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