Bishops in the Church of England have met for a second time this year to discuss the Church’s next steps for same-sex marriage.
The House and College of Bishops met during three days this week to further discuss the outcome of the Living in Love and Faith report, a call for churches to discern whether to allow the blessing and marriage of same-sex couples.
During the meeting, bishops shared their views on the report’s results and agreed that in the next meeting, scheduled for mid-January 2023, they will decide on an “offering” that will give “a clear sense of direction”.
Their “offering” will then be put to the Church’s General Synod to discuss.
They also discussed “commitments that bishops will take and develop further In line with the direction of travel to be agreed by Synod in February 2023”.
Commenting at the end of the meeting, the Dame Sarah Mullaly, Bishop of London, and also chair of the bishops’ Next Steps Group, said: “It was deeply heartening that bishops continued to walk together united under Christ and celebrated our differences over the course of the last three days.
“They manifested a desire to find a way forward that will be good news to the Church and to wider society.”
Most Rev Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York, said: “The College continued to be engaged positively, robustly and frankly with three days of conversations held in a heartfelt commitment of mutual respect and understanding.”
Most Rev Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, added: “As our second meeting closes and as we continue our journey on to the next stage in the LLF process, we continue to pray for continued guidance by the Holy Spirit through the scriptures about God’s intention for human life in all its glory and joy.”