A response to Charlie Bell – ‘Finding a Way Through.’

Mar 2, 2024 by

by Martin Davie, Reflections of an Anglican Theologian:

In his article ‘Finding a Way Through’ published on the ViaMedia.News website on 1 March Charlie Bell writes as follows about the request made by CEEC and the wider Alliance movement for ‘legally secure structural provision’ for conservatives in the Church of England who cannot in good conscience accept same-sex marriages, same-sex blessings, or the ordination of those in  sexually active same-sex relationships:

‘Simply shouting ‘legally secure structural provision’ doesn’t, frankly, do the trick, and is getting tiresome. For many – me included – these are questions not just about these prayers [the ‘Prayers of Love and Faith’], but about a fundamental threat to our ecclesiology. Casting our ecclesiology aside and creating a ‘pure’ church within a church in order to appease those who will never really be appeased is not a good strategy. Suggesting that we can remain in any serious way ‘one church’ whilst having ‘legally secure structural provision’ is a demonstrable nonsense.

So – let’s sit down and work out how we can move forwards. If you are a reasonable conservative who opposes these prayers on theological grounds, we can and want to work with you to enable you to flourish in the same church as us. We want to ensure you have pastoral provision that allows you to feel valued and loved – pastoral provision which, incidentally, has been cruelly withheld from so many LGBTQIA people for years. You do not have to buy into the lie that structural provision, with bishops out of communion with one another, special ordinations, confirmations, theological colleges, pseudo-provinces, and the rest of it, is the only answer – it isn’t, and it’s not going to happen. It just isn’t. We want you to feel supported, and we want to build each other up in the faith – and we can make this happen if we’re willing to put our minds to it, and ignore the extremes.’

I want to make a threefold response to what Bell says in these two paragraphs.

Read here


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