We write to express our disappointment at the bishops’ recommendations to the Church of England General Synod in relation to human sexuality.

While it may be honest and real for the Archbishop of Canterbury to acknowledge the deep division within the House of Bishops on these matters, the recommendations seek to ameliorate both sides of the divide and as a consequence have seemingly not pleased anyone. To recommend at the same time both the upholding of marriage as being between a woman and a man as the doctrine of the church and then to issue liturgies for the blessing of marriages that don’t reflect that principle is both confusing and contradictory. It is not hard to see why both conservatives as well as progressives have been outraged.

At the Lambeth Conference in 2022 it was clear that the gracious and positive stance taken by the Global South Primates and their many colleagues in the west represented a clear majority of those present. In fact, this was acknowledged publicly at the Conference. If one were to add the voices of those who were not present this would represent 70% of the Anglican Communion. If the Church of England General Synod were to endorse the Bishops’ recommendations this will put their Church significantly out of step with the Communion as a whole.

The significant challenge for those who live and minister in the west to uphold Biblical faithfulness has to be acknowledged. It has also to be acknowledged that in our efforts to uphold orthodoxy we have not always acted in a way that is loving and helpful.

We pray for God’s intervention and mercy for the Church of England General Synod as it meets Feb 6-9 2023. We pray that they remain faithful to the doctrine of the church that they have recommended be agreed to.

Bishop Stephen Hale Chair EFAC Global
Bishop Henry Scriven General Secretary EFAC Global