The bishop is aware that the diocese is waiting for a statement from him in response to the vote on the marriage canon. He asks that you be patient, as General Synod is not over, and although the motion was defeated, there is still work being done at General Synod to find a way to move forward. If there are questions about where he stands in response to the vote, the bishop asks you to refer to the following statement he issued as part of his charge to Synod 2018:
“We have learned that conflict need not disable us but can be used as a positive influence to transform us as individuals and as community. I have supported those congregations and clergy that adhere to the traditional understanding of marriage. I will continue to do that, no matter what decision comes out of the second reading of the marriage canon. I have also supported, and will continue to support, those clergy and congregations that support the changes to the marriage canon—recognizing that such forms of marriage continue to involve the same preparation and requirements as all other marriages within the church.
It seems to me that this is the most Anglican way forward. I am advised that this option does not contravene the marriage canon, in either its present or revised forms. It can be a witness to the church and reflects the very best of what it means to be an Anglican and a Christian. We will no longer debate sexual orientation and gender difference in this diocese. In my experience, debate has not moved folk from one position to another on this subject. Debate has only hurt people. We live together with differences; this is the work of reconciliation. It is my hope that we as a diocese can be a witness to the church nationally, showing how we can live and walk together, in the understanding that unity is not the same as uniformity.”
Please share this widely and continue to pray for General Synod. A further statement will be issued in the coming days.