As bishops in the Diocese of Manchester, we wish to make on our own behalf the apology issued by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York last night. The statement that had been published on behalf of the House of Bishops the previous week has been the cause of great harm and deep distress here in Manchester and across the wider Church. We are truly sorry. As Christians committed to penitence, we beg our sisters and brothers for their forgiveness and ask them to accompany us as we seek to rebuild the trust we have deservedly forfeited.
The College of Bishops met in London on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Chastened and humbled, we have been able to redouble our efforts to see that the Living in Love and Faith project has the integrity it needs; and that the bishops have not predetermined its outcome. Here in Manchester, we look forward to sharing with the whole Church the resources that will be published in a few months’ time. Our prayer is that we can then together discern where the Holy Spirit wishes to guide and lead us, embracing that Radical Christian Inclusion to which our Archbishops have called us.
+David Manchester, +Mark Middleton, +Mark Bolton
Statement by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York
We as Archbishops, alongside the bishops of the Church of England, apologise and take responsibility for releasing a statement last week which we acknowledge has jeopardised trust. We are very sorry and recognise the division and hurt this has caused.
At our meeting of the College of Bishops of the Church of England this week we continued our commitment to the Living in Love and Faith project which is about questions of human identity, sexuality and marriage. This process is intended to help us all to build bridges that will enable the difficult conversations that are necessary as, together, we discern the way forward for the Church of England.