The three bishops have sent a pastoral letter to all clergy in response to the Church of England Living in Love and Faith process. This can be found below.
In addition to this, Bishop Stephen has shared a video sharing his thoughts. In it he commented “we need to be listening carefully to each other and allowing each other to flourish that's what Christ taught us when he told us to love one another”.
Dear sisters and brothers
On Tuesday we attended the College of Bishops meeting as the final part of the Living in Love and Faith process to date. At the beginning of this process, the bishops promised to bring their final recommendations to the General Synod and this will happen in February. Please find attached the papers published today.
We urge you to read all this material carefully and prayerfully. For such a sensitive subject matter it is really important that we all fully understand this rather than just react to headlines. The reality is that there will be a mixed reaction to these recommendations, just as there is a diversity of opinion in the College of Bishops. We are not all one on this, but we are one in Christ through the primacy of Holy Baptism and have all agreed that the proposals offer the greatest unity for the Church.
At the Diocesan Synod on Saturday 4th February, we will speak more openly as your bishops about the process and our reactions to it. Obviously, we each hold slightly differing views, but we are united in commending these recommendations and we stand by them alongside the whole College of Bishops.
Please care for each other, especially those who, from either end of this debate, are disappointed. However, this is a first for the Church in welcoming same sex couples with prayers for those who wish to exercise this ministry in conscience, and for those who do not wish to do so, with integrity. We also own and offer the apology made within these recommendations.
Thank you for the support of your prayers from so many within the diocese throughout these days.
God, who from of old
taught the hearts of your faithful people
by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit:
grant us by the same Spirit
to have a right judgement in all things
and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;
through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour.