Response to LLF proposals at the February General Synod, including the passing of the motion that would enable same-sex couples to receive God’s blessing in church following their civil marriage or civil partnership.

We believe the Bible clearly teaches that marriage is a gift, given by God, to unite one man with one woman. Marriage is a beautiful picture of Christ’s love for his church. It is therefore not something we can choose to redefine. We stand together with the tradition of the Church and the majority held understanding within the Anglican Communion in wanting to uphold this biblical, traditional view of marriage.

We are grateful that the House of Bishops and the General Synod both agreed that the doctrine of marriage should not be changed. We also join with the House of Bishops and General Synod in lamenting and repenting of the failure of the Church to welcome LGBTQI+ people and for the harm that LGBTQI+ people have experienced.

However, we think the proposed prayers of love and faith radically change the practice of the Church of England and places us on a trajectory toward further changes in the areas of marriage and sex. This leads to deep sadness and concern.

We are saddened and concerned by the departure from the apostolic faith we are called to uphold and the potential of division within the Church of England.

We are saddened and concerned by the impact this is already having within the Anglican Communion.

We are saddened and concerned about the pastoral, discipleship, and evangelistic impacts this will have on our churches and mission communities.

As a DEF, we call on our Bishops and General Synod reps to uphold historical, biblical teaching, and thereby maintain Church unity, in future LLF discussions, including voting against all proposals to allow prayers of blessings for same-sex couples at future General Synod meetings.

As a DEF we are committed to supporting and standing with evangelicals across Manchester Diocese who share the same sadness and concern. If that is you, please join us or get in touch.