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  • Writer's pictureDavid Runcorn

A letter from Inclusive Evangelical General Synod Members supporting the bishop’s proposals

Published in the Church Times. March 3rd 2023






Evangelical opinion on the Bishops' LLF proposals

From the Archdeacons of Sheffield and Rotherham, of Dudley, and of Knowsley and Sefton, and 15 others


Sir,


Before and since the recent General Synod's vote on the House of Bishops' response to Living in Love and Faith, it has frequently been implied by the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) and other groups and individuals that Evangelical Christians are united in their opposition to the proposed direction of travel and prayers of blessing for those in committed same-sex relationships.

As Evangelical members of the Synod, we would like to make it clear that this simply isn't true.


Many Evangelical Christians wish to welcome and celebrate committed same-sex relationships,including those attending Evangelical churches across the country who are only now discovering that their views contrast to with their church leadership's. We would, therefore, respectfully ask that organisations, groups, and individuals holding more conservative views recognise this reality and refrain from laying claim to speak for all Evangelical Christians in their public statements.

Similarly, words such as "orthodox" and "biblical" are frequently deployed in an unhelpful manner to imply that those with contrary views are somehow "heterodox" or "unbiblical". Again, we would simply ask that language be used more carefully and with a greater degree of integrity. At various points throughout its history, the Church has changed its understanding of what scripture teaches, as the Spirit of Truth continues to lead us into truth John 16.13). Evangelicals, those with a high regard for scriptural authority, have frequently been at the forefront of such changes, not least in the abolitionist movement. As Evangelicals, we are committed to the authority of scripture, but we are also acutely aware that we continue to "see in a mirror, dimly" (I Corinthians 13.12 as we seek to interpret the scriptures, and have much still to learn as followers of Jesus.


As Evangelicals, we welcome the House of Bishops' proposals as an important step on this journey, and thank the College and House for their discernment. We look forward to being able to express God's love and blessing to more people in our communities, in the hope that they might enter into a fuller relationship with Christ.


MALCOLM CHAMBERLAIN, NIKKI GROARKE, PETE SPIERS, LIVERPOOL, ALISON COULTER, WINCHESTER, LISA BATTYE, MANCHESTER, SIMON FRIEND (Conveners of Evangelical Forum), SIMON BUTLER, PAUL WADDELL, NIC TALL, VANESSA (VEE) PINTO, KATE MASSEY, MARTIN POOLE, SAM WILSON, HOLLY ADAMS.

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