EVANGELICALS in the diocese of Southwark are asking clergy and
lay people to sign a statement of "support and obedience to the
Church of England's formal and official belief about marriage and
The statement reads: "We affirm, with Article XX, that 'it is
not lawful for the Church to ordain anything that is contrary to
God's Word written.'"
It also cites scripture, the Book of Common Prayer and Canon B30
in support of the assertion that "marriage is the union of one man
and one woman for life. We affirm it is the one God-ordained
context for sexual intercourse." It concludes: "We call upon all
the Bishops, Archdeacons, and the senior staff of the Diocese,
alongside all clergy and licensed lay ministers, to affirm these
truths, live by them, and to teach in accordance with them. We call
upon the Bishops to appoint to positions of teaching authority only
those who hold to these truths in good conscience."
The statement has been produced by the Southwark Diocesan
Evangelical Union, who argue that it expresses "that which can
already be found in the Church of England's formularies, is
expressed in its publications by its bishops, and on its website,
and around which all church members can unite".
It estimates that there are about 100 parishes in the diocese
with "an Evangelical ministry of some kind".
On Wednesday, the Diocese of Southwark issued a statement: "The
Bishop of Southwark is aware that the Declaration is circulating
among members of the Diocesan Evangelical Union. He welcomes it as
a significant contribution to the Facilitated Conversations."