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Christian part in shaping a more inclusive attitude

05 June 2015


From Savitri Hensman

Sir, - Your leader comment "A reality check" (Letters, 29 May) rightly points out that the continued withholding of the Church of England's blessing from certain couples will increasingly undermine the Church, if not marriage itself.

It is also worth remembering that Christians, seeking conscientiously to discern and act on God's will, have played an active part in the cultural change in Britain and Ireland which has led many to embrace equal marriage. This includes many lay people pursuing our vocations in the workplace, family, and society, as well as members of the clergy.

Moreover, the theological case for change is not new. It is 75 years since Kenneth Ingram, an Anglican lay theologian, called for acceptance of loving same-sex relationships, 60 years since the Revd Dr Derrick Sherwin Bailey highlighted the weakness of claims that the Bible rules out such partnerships, and 36 years since an official working party, chaired by the Bishop of Gloucester, concluded that "there are circumstances in which individuals may justifiably choose to enter into a homosexual relationship with the hope of enjoying a companionship and physical expression of sexual love similar to that which is to be found in marriage."

The hierarchy's response to the powerful arguments for a more inclusive stance should not be ongoing denial.


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