Church of England Evangelical Council Seeks Alternatives Amidst Limited Options on Same-Sex Blessings

Pride Flag
Pixabay/Boris Štromar

The Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) attempt to launch services against blessing for same-sex couples, also known as Prayers of Love and Faith, has reportedly run out of options. This service failed on the approval of three Houses of Synod in February, yet CEEC is still seeking other alternatives.

Same-Sex Blessings

The Guardian reported that after a heated debate that lasted for more than eight hours, the national assembly of the Church of England, known as the General Synod, decided by a margin of 250 votes to 181 to support a proposal by bishops that was intended to put an end to years of agonizing divides and disagreements around sexuality. But the highly boiled speeches given by those who advocated for complete equality for LGBTQ+ Christians and those who argued that conventional biblical teaching on marriage and sex must be respected signaled that the discussion will likely continue. Moreover, it was decided by the synod that the church would issue an apology to LGBTQ+ individuals for the hurt it has caused in the past. It expressed its approval of an upcoming review of a law requiring clergy members in same-sex relationships to maintain their celibacy and a ban on clergy members marrying each other in civil ceremonies.

The proposed amendment by the conservatives to maintain the church's doctrine that marriage must be between a man and a woman narrowly passed with the support of conservatives. In addition, even though the modification disheartened progressives, it may have inspired some traditionalists to vote in favor of the primary motion. According to Christian News, in opposition to the Church of England's choice to bless same-sex unions, at least 2,000 Anglican church leaders agreed to sign a new proclamation. As stated, the CEEC is responsible for drafting the declaration, which outlines four potential reforms to the church that the evangelicals of the Church of England will feel "compelled to resist" if they are approved at the next General Synod.

Also Read:Anglican Communion Renounced Church of England for “False Gospel Teachings”

Prayers of Love and Faith

Based on a report from the church, the Prayers of Love and Faith bus has left, and CEEC can no longer prevent its departure, Anglican. ink reported. Sarah Mullally, the Bishop of London, stated that the new services "are on track for November" during the pre-Synod press event on Thursday, Jun 22. Evangelical members of the CofE nowadays reportedly correspond to a denomination whose leadership has abandoned the traditional Christian sexual ethic and has been condemned for doing so by the vast majority of members of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The services will officially be considered voluntary. However, there needs to be more clarity regarding the method through which parishes arrive at their decisions. 

As per Christian Today, the CEEC can still begin to coordinate an exit strategy from the CofE. Large evangelical churches that are group members have access to resources, and these churches could serve as a model for others. Without a doubt, leaving would be an arduous, dangerous, and chaotic endeavor. New gathering locations for churches and unique accommodations for their pastors would need to be found, among the many other challenges that must be overcome.

On the other hand, the circulating paper on Dr Andrew Goddard's plan for same-sex blessing suggests that the Church of England evangelicals are running out of options regarding institutional pathways. Accordingly, they had to begin excavating tunnels to escape. It would only take one significant evangelical church to break through the barbed wire barrier for others to follow suit. These traditional Anglican churches have the potential to establish a new Anglican federation in the United Kingdom, analogous to the Anglican Church in North America, which was established in 2009.

Related Article:Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches Expressed “Deep Sadness" on the Outcome of Church of England's Vote for Same-sex Blessings