Statement from St. Elisabeth’s, Becontree – 20th March 2017
To: Bp. Stephen and Bp. Peter
Cc Barking & Dagenham Deanery.
‘Following Bishop John’s e-mail to many on 23rd February and Bishop Stephen’s address to diocesan synod on 11th March, our church feels that we cannot and should not, in good conscience, attend the School of Disciples to be held here in Barking & Dagenham deanery this coming Wednesday 22nd March 2017.
Among other things, Bishop Stephen wrote that ‘it would be particularly foolish for us to ignore the missiological damage that is done when that which is held to be morally normative and desirable by much of society and by what seems to be a significant number of Anglican Christian people in this country, is deemed morally unacceptable by the Church.’
To many of us, Bishop Stephen has not said clearly what we believe he should have said and we disagree that it is damaging to mission to proclaim biblical and traditional views on marriage and faithful sexual relations only within the boundaries of traditional marriage. We believe to proclaim this is consistent with Christ’s gospel. We believe it is faithful to being Christ’s disciples and faithful to His mission and not damaging to it, even if many do not like that message. Not to proclaim this, we believe, is unfaithful.
We call all our bishops to public repentance – both for what they have said publicly AND for what they needed to say clearly but haven’t publicly said.
We expect a fuller statement from our constituency in due course.
Revd Steven Hanna and St Elisabeth’s Church, Becontree – Chelmsford Diocese.