Bishop of Norwich’s LGBT+ report rejected

A report put forward by the House of Bishops, and backed by the Bishop of Norwich, stating that marriage should remain between a man and a woman and not be extended to same-sex couples, has been rejected by the General Synod.

The report, which was supported by Reverend Graham James, the Bishop of Norwich, was backed both by the House of Bishops (43-1) and by the House of Laity (106-83).However, it failed to win the support of the House of Clergy, who rejected it by 100 votes to 93.

The rejected report can no longer play any role in future discussions, and a new report on the issue will now have to be produced.

LGBT+ rights campaigners, who staged a protest before the debate, welcomed the Synod’s decision not to accept the report. However, there are others who fear that this signals a departure from the Scripture as the ruling foundation for Christian faith and practice.

While opening the debate, Reverend Graham James commented that he himself felt “conflicted” in presenting the report, saying that he has “cherished the friendships of many gay people and sought to support the gay clergy in [his] diocese”.

He went on to say: “I am also a bishop who seeks to be loyal to the Catholic tradition of our church and to the doctrine of the universal Church as we have received it”

“I do not seek to elevate my opinion and experience above that of scripture and the received tradition of the Church”, he said.

However, he said that he regretted any “pain or anger” caused by the report.

The Bishop of Willesden, Reverend Pete Broadbent, apologised to those in the Synod who felt disappointed in the report and to anyone who did not “recognize themselves in it”.

“On behalf of the House, and without being trite or trivial, I’m sorry”, he said.

When asked about the decision by Concrete, UEA’s Christian Union declined to comment because they are a “non-denominational group of Christian and therefore do no take an official stance on issues such as this”.


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January 2022
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