The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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April 2017

Letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York after General Synod


The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written to members of the General Synod following the vote in February at General Synod NOT to take note of the paper on Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations.

In the letter, they say:

All of us, without exception, are loved and called in Christ. There are no 'problems', there are simply people called to redeemed humanity in Christ.

How we deal with the real and profound disagreement ‑ put so passionately and so clearly by many at the debate ‑ is the challenge we face as people who all belong to Christ.

We are therefore asking first for every Diocesan Bishop to meet with their General Synod members for an extended conversation in order to establish clearly the desires of every member of Synod for the way forward.

As Archbishops we will be establishing a Pastoral Oversight group led by the Bishop of Newcastle, with the task of supporting and advising Dioceses on pastoral actions with regard to our current pastoral approach to human sexuality. The group will be inclusive, and will seek to discern the development of pastoral practices, within current arrangements.

Secondly, we, with others, will be formulating proposals for the May House of Bishops for a large scale teaching document around the subject of human sexuality. In an episcopal church a principal responsibility of Bishops is the teaching ministry of the church, and the guarding of the deposit of faith that we have all inherited. The teaching document must thus ultimately come from the Bishops.

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