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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