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CofE Evangelical Council launches appeal against same-sex marriage changes

by Sophie Drew

The Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) has launched a new appeal against same-sex marriage.

Keeping Faith is a reaction to the Living in Love and Faith initiative; the five-year process saw congregations voice their opinions on sexuality and marriage in the church.

The CEEC - which does not believe that same-sex marriage is in line with biblical teachings - is calling for "the evangelical voice to be heard," and for "bishops to joyfully reaffirm the Bible's teaching on marriage and sex as good news for individuals and for society as a whole".

It follows a statement from the Bishop of Oxford, publicly supporting same-sex marriage within the Church of England; the sentiments were echoed by a number of bishops following the publication of the 52-page essay. 

Now, the CEEC is urging evangelicals within the Church of England to write to their bishops and ask them to maintain the denominations current position "joyfully". 

They're also urging supporters to explore the matters in their own church, and ask questions of their leaders. 

Rev Dr Ian Paul, a member of the group, told Premier Christian News: "It's about what we're for, rather than what we're against. It's about being proactive rather than being reactive. 

"Thirdly, it's about being steadfast rather than being sensationalist. So it's really saying 'the Christian faith has something really important to say, some really good news about relationships and about sexuality.'

"I think that has been a real danger in the last few months, and maybe even years of 'some bishops says something outrageous, and then we all react to it,' rather than saying 'gee, you know what, there's a really good body of Christian teaching here."

Speaking to Premier after voicing his support for same-sex marriage earlier this month, the Bishop of Oxford, Rt Rev Steven Croft, said: "I've been married to my wife for over 40 years, that relationship is one of the most precious gifts in my life.

"When I see long-term, same-sex relationships, I see many similar qualities in terms of stability, and mutual love and support, and the context for the stable rearing of children. And all those things seem to be very good."

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