Self-styled “Evangelicals” Support Gay Blessings
A collection of self-identified “evangelicals” on General Synod have written to the Church Times, expressing their support for the Bishops’ Living in Love and Faith (LLF) proposals and subsequent synod vote. They allege that they and many churches calling themselves “evangelical” would “wish to welcome and celebrate committed same-sex relationships,”
They also decry the suggestion that all evangelicals are opposed to the College of Bishops’ proposals: “it has frequently been implied by the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) and other groups and individuals that Evangelical Christians are united in their opposition to the proposed direction of travel and prayers of blessing for those in committed same-sex relationships.
“As Evangelical members of the Synod, we would like to make it clear that this simply isn’t true. Many Evangelical Christians wish to welcome and celebrate committed same-sex relationships, including those attending Evangelical churches across the country who are only now discovering that their views contrast with their church leadership’s. We would, therefore, respectfully ask that organisations, groups, and individuals holding more conservative views recognise this reality and refrain from laying claim to speak for all Evangelical Christians in their public statements…
“At various points throughout its history, the Church has changed its understanding of what scripture teaches, as the Spirit of Truth continues to lead us into truth (John 16.13). Evangelicals, those with a high regard for scriptural authority, have frequently been at the forefront of such changes, not least in the abolitionist movement.”
The signatories to this letter who designate themselves “evangelicals” are: Malcolm Chamberlain, Nikki Groake, Pete Spiers, (Liverpool), Alison Coulter (Winchester), Lisa Battye (Manchester), Simon Friend (Conveners of Evangelical Forum), Simon Butler, Paul Waddell, Nic Tall, Vanessa (Vee) Pinto , Kate Massey, Martin Poole, Sam Wilson, Holly Adams, Martin Thorpe, Christine Burgess, James Wilson and Jody Stowell.