Open letter to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in response to bishops’ pastoral letter on civil partnerships

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Your Graces

We write to express our anger and disappointment regarding the recent House of Bishops ‘Pastoral Statement’ concerning Same Sex and Opposite Sex Civil Partnerships.

Since the public defeat of your ‘Marriage and Same Sex Relationships‘ report to General Synod in 2017, we have waited for you to deliver on your promise of ‘a radical new Christian inclusion’.  We have been patient believing that nothing further would be said regarding sexuality and relationships until after the publication of the Living in Love and Faith report.  It seems our trust has been misplaced and we feel badly let down.

The pastoral statement makes clear there has been no desire to listen or learn from those of us who spoke to explain how offensive we found the tone of the House of Bishops’ previous document.  Indeed, this statement is anything but ‘pastoral’ – it is cold, defensive, and uncaring of its impact on the millions of people it affects.

The Church of England has this week become a laughingstock to a nation that believes it is obsessed with sex.  More importantly this statement has significantly damaged the mission of the Church and it has broken the trust of those it seeks to serve.

We ask you to consider how we can, together, build a truly radically inclusive Christian Church.

Yours sincerely

Christina Baron, Member of General Synod, Bath & Wells

Revd Andrew Foreshew-Cain, Chaplain to Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford

Ven Peter Leonard, Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight, Member of General Synod, Portsmouth

Jayne Ozanne, Member of General Synod, Oxford