Jonathan Gibbs

“In closing, I want to make it clear that I am deeply torn by these issues. I recognise that what I have said today may well be a huge disappointment (or worse) for many of our sisters and brothers in the LGBTQIA+ communities and their supporters, and I am deeply sorry for the pain this will cause. My profoundest instinct as a pastor is to seek for a way forward that could be embraced by all. However, the divided nature of the votes at General Synod, together with the reactions of people with very diverse convictions about these issues, have led me to believe that this is simply not possible. There are fundamentally different conceptions amongst us of what God requires of his people in terms of how we live out our relationships and our sexuality. In the end, each of us has to make a choice about our own understanding of these hugely important and deeply personal issues.

“As Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester, I am having to make a choice on where I stand, painful though that is. My fellow bishops up and down the country will each make their choices – and one thing is certain: that we will not all agree. And then we as God’s people will have to work out how we will relate to one another, care for one another and love each other as followers of Jesus Christ and children of our heavenly Father.”