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Christians react to Church's reaffirmed stance on gay marriage

Despite the reaffirmed stance on same-sex marriage, the document from the House of Bishop says that the Church must "adopt a fresh tone and culture of welcome and support" for the LGBT community.

Bishop of Norwich, Rt Rev Graham James told Premier the issue of same sex marriage is not up for discussion.

"What the Bishops have concluded - the majority of them - is that there shouldn't be any change to the doctrine of marriage as we've received it.

"Our understanding of marriage comes from scripture, the tradition, the lived experience of the church and is sharing with nearly every other Christian church throughout the world."

The content of the report has been praised by a number of groups who oppose same-sex marriage. Tim Dieppe from Christian Concern told the News Hour that he thinks the report is good news.

Dieppe said: "I'm pleased that there's clearly no change in doctrine here that the church is unequivocally affirming that marriage is a lifelong commitment between man and a woman."

But for those who support the rights of LGBT people to marry, the report comes as a disappointment.

Rev Colin Coward from Changing Attitudes told Premier that bishops have let LGBT people down.

"I hoped that the bishops would do something to improve the integrity of their position and of the position of lesbian and gay partners - lay people and clergy in the church - and they done absolutely nothing.

"I think it's one of the most appalling pieces of work that bishops have produced in my lifetime - and certainly in my 40 years of ministry in the church - it does nothing whatsoever and in fact takes us in a backward direction."

The report will be discussed at the General Synod in February.

Listen to Tim Dieppe from Christian Concern speak to Premier here:

Listen to Rev Colin Coward from Changing Attitudes speak to Alex Williams here:

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