As bishops serving in the Diocese of Lichfield, we have been approached by a number of clergy and lay people following the statement issued by the House of Bishops on Civil Partnerships.
In light of this, we wish to reaffirm our commitment to a radical Christian inclusion for all people and to the pastoral principles supporting that which we set out in May 2018 in our letter ‘Welcoming and Honouring LGBT+ people’.
Last week’s statement from the House of Bishops was offered simply as a reiteration of the teaching and current discipline of the Church of England within the new situation which has been created by the legal opening of Civil Partnerships to opposite sex as well as same sex couples. We note that the statement recognises that there will be a range of views conscientiously held within the Church of England, and as bishops we commit ourselves to encouraging within the diocese honest, thoughtful and sensitive conversations as we respect and care for one another and seek together to discern God’s will.
The Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave
Bishop of Lichfield
The Rt Revd Sarah Bullock
Bishop of Shrewsbury
The Rt Revd Clive Gregory
Bishop of Wolverhampton