LGBT Christians voice their thoughts on the Church of England synod vote.
For years now the LGBT community has been in the spotlight as it struggles to gain acceptance in the society of the Christian faith. The subject has been of great magnitude, and it has caused division among the Christian faithful. The Church of England synod decided “not to take note” of a report on marriage and same-sex relationships, and this has rubbed some people the wrong way. The mixed reaction is reported to be a sign of trying times ahead as a split in the wider Anglican Communion may be in the offing.
The report, published in November 2016, had been the subject of debate following three years of seemingly tense internal discussions among the college of Bishops, members of the Synod and Anglicans. The report strives to uphold the traditional Biblical teachings on marriage. The support of the three houses was needed to pass the motion. There was a clear majority among those who voted at the synod but it narrowly lost, the House of Clergy voted against it by 100 votes to 93.
“The report appeared to sympathize with our struggle for acceptance, but it was shallow and recommended no real action to deal with the issue,” remarked Rachel a 23-year-old from London. She further adds, “It [Church of England] needs to stop imagining that LGBTQIA+ Christians are some kind of hypothetical. We are here, and we are hurting because the community which preaches God’s love has turned its back on us.”
Richard, a 42-year-old doctor from Birmingham, had this to say, “I’m glad that the House of Clergy rejected it. I long for the day that this issue is sorted and the Church can move forward doing real work.” He goes on to add, “Just like the abolition of slavery, the acceptance of women and eliminating racism, the inclusion of LGBT will happen, and then we will look back in horror at these bad old days. The Church needs to get its act together and honour love, whatever package it comes in.”
— Dawn Carrington ? (@CarringtonDawn) February 21, 2017
A 43-year-old teacher from Essex going by the name Rachel was quick to express her delight in the motion’s dismissal. She defends her argument by claiming the dismissal gives members of the LGBT community an opportunity to share their experiences. “There was zero chance of agreement, but there was an opportunity for compassion and empathy. I suspect an accommodation will be reached within the next couple of years. People seem worried about a split. If it is easier for one part to be administratively separate and would stop the forever bloody arguments, it wouldn’t be the worst solution,” she remarked.
In light of the event, the two most prominent figures in the Church of England, Justin Welby and John Sentamu, sent a letter to members. The letter suggested a “radical new Christian inclusion in the Church… based on good, healthy and flourishing relationships that are in proper understanding of being human and being sexual.”
- The Guardian
- Church of England -Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations: A Report from the House of Bishops
- Church of England -Letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York following General Synod