Editor’s note: At the Friday 20 January 2023 press conference in London held to announce the House of Bishops recommendations on the Living in Love and Fellowship process, the Bishop of London, the Rt. Hon and Rt. Rev. Sarah Mullaly was asked by a reporter: “gay Christians have been asking: ‘if we can have a civil marriage, come to church and have that relationship blessed, are we still expected by the church to remain celibate?’ Or is it now understood if the marriage is blessed, and sex should take place within the marriage, then gay couples are allowed to express themselves sexually as well?”
The Bishop of London replied I part: “I recognize it’s a question that many, many are proposing. I think that what we recognize is that within the College of Bishops, there will be a range of views that are held on that.
“What we’re doing is proposing prayers for people as a stage of their relationship. And within that relationship, and we’re specifically saying it is a faithful, lifelong relationship between two people.
“One thing I have learned through listening is that there is a whole range of ways in which people will express that relationship. Some will be sexual, some will not, some will be friendship, and some will be sexual. And so the prayers are there that can be offered. And I think that the way they will be used is there will be a range of ways in which they will be used in that.
“So there will be the opportunity for those people in a same-sex relationship to come and have that relationship blessed. And, of course, some of those will be sexual.