I'm conscious some voices are being heard speaking much more loudly than others at the moment, and that some individuals, churches and networks are using their substantial money to amplify their voices. So I was moved to send a simple letter of encouragement to my (acting) diocesan bishop - pasted below. I'd want to encourage others to do likewise.
This will come as little surprise to you, I’m sure, but I just wanted to write regarding the House of Bishops’ proposals in response to Living in Love and Faith. While for me – and many others with whom I am in contact, both locally in Hodge Hill, and in the wider church – the proposals do not go nearly far enough in the direction of unreservedly welcoming, affirming and blessing faithful, life-long same-sex unions (as marriages equal in both legal and theological standing to opposite-sex marriages), I am encouraged by the tentative, yet positive, steps at the last General Synod, which in themselves open up new possibilities both for our pastoral practice and our theological and liturgical conversation.
There is a long way still to go, and I’m under no illusion that the debates, the opposition and the compromises are by no means finished. I long for the day when the Church of England embraces a theologically rich and Scripturally rooted understanding and practice of bodies, sex, gender, love and marriage, that is truly affirming and inclusive of all God’s gloriously-created children.
On that way we will all need much patience and grace – and some will need, sadly, much more resilience, care and protection from the more profoundly dehumanising extremes of opposition.
With my ongoing gratitude and prayers for you in your episcopal role among us,