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Southwark Evangelicals ask for statement of obedience

20 February 2015

iSTOCK

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 sex".

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."

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