The outcome of the debate at Synod last week on the Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations report was positive from my point of view. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s speech at the end of the debate communicated that he knew change had to happen and his awareness was communicated in the statement issued soon after. Subsequently several bishops made statements or issued letters indicating that they also understood the need to think and do things differently. Did the culture and understanding of the bishops and archbishops undergo a sudden conversion? I doubt it.
David Walker, Bishop of Manchester, interviewed on BBC Radio 4s Sunday programme last weekend, repeated six times variants of “the law will not change.” He believes that if we work together: “LGBT Christians will work with the rest of the church, we can make that maximum freedom what it ought to be.” But there will not and cannot be maximum freedom until the bishops accept marriage equality. On Facebook, Bishops Pete Broadbent and Alan Wilson had an illuminating exchange about the Canons on marriage law. Bishop Pete claimed that since for the CofE, there is no such thing as same sex marriage, nobody is being prevented from having access to something that doesn't exist.