Marriage and same sex relationships document release

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undefinedThe Church of England's law and guidance on marriage should be interpreted to provide "maximum freedom" for gay and lesbian people without changing the Church's doctrine of marriage itself, bishops are recommending.

A report from the House of Bishops to be discussed by the Church’s General Synod next month upholds the teaching, recognised by canon law, that marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman.

It also concludes that the current advice on pastoral provision for same-sex couples – which allows clergy to provide informal prayers for those marrying or forming a civil partnership – is not clear enough and should be revisited.

It also calls for a “fresh tone and culture of welcome and support” for lesbian and gay people and those attracted to people of the same sex throughout the Church of England.

The paper recommends that bishops prepare a substantial new teaching document on marriage and relationships to replace or expand upon documents drawn up in the 1990s.

The report is to be brought to General Synod in February for further reflection.

You can read the Marriage and Same Sex Relationships paper

The full press release can be read here. https://www.churchofengland.org/media-centre/news/2017/01/general-synod-press-conference.aspx