*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Bishops create three working groups to find a way forward on blessings

29 March 2023

Max Colson/Church Times

General Synod members discuss same-sex blessings in small groups at the start of February

General Synod members discuss same-sex blessings in small groups at the start of February

THREE working groups of bishops are to be set up to take forward the work on the blessing of same-sex couples, after last month’s General Synod debate and vote (News, 9 February).

The College of Bishops (which comprises all diocesans and suffragans in the Church of England) met in London on Thursday to plan the next steps, in the light of comments made in Synod during the small-groups meetings, and in the debate that ended with a vote in favour of allowing clergy to bless same-sex couples in church.

At the meeting on Thursday, the bishops agreed to set up three working groups to take on three aspects of the task ahead. A press release on Friday said that these were:

  • Pastoral Guidance, with responsibility for drafting new guidance to replace the 1991 Issues in Human Sexuality, which, among other things, prohibits clergy from sexual activity outside heterosexual marriage;
  • Prayers of Love and Faith, “to further refine the texts in the light of feedback from General Synod”;
  • Pastoral Reassurance, “to examine what will be required to ensure freedom of conscience for clergy”.
     

The membership and chairing of the groups is still to be finalised, though they will be made up of bishops “assisted by a group of advisers drawn from across the Church, both lay and ordained”.

There is also to be a new steering group to co-ordinate their work. The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, is expected to chair this.

The groups will be working to a tight deadline, as it is planned that the matter will return to the General Synod in July.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

 

Church Times/RSCM: 

Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE

 

Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available

 

Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available

 

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards

 

Church Times/Canterbury Press:

Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

Early bird tickets available

 

 

Welcome to the Church Times

 

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)