Bishops leave parish clergy vulnerable after GS vote on blessing gay unions

Feb 9, 2023 by

from Anglican Orthodox:

CHURCH of England parish clergy will be left “vulnerable and without practical or moral support” following the decision by the Church of England’s General Synod to back a House of Bishops’ proposal to permit prayers of ‘blessing’ for gay unions. The synod, traditionalists believe, has rejected the authority of the Bible, and the settled mind of the rest of Anglicans worldwide.

The controversial decision, which the Archbishop of Canterbury admits has divided the House of Bishops and, goes against the majority view of the Anglican Communion – of which he is the spiritual leader – will mostly impact orthodox parish vicars who will refuse to hold such services on the grounds of their consciences and ordination vows.

Anglican Orthodox, a rapidly growing grassroots movement of hundreds of vicars and senior lay leaders, plus retired bishops and archdeacons, notes in precious centuries, when society and culture put pressure on the Church to conform, it was the bishops who stood firm and resisted compromise on biblical faith, and were even burnt at the stake!  But today’s Synod decision, claims the Revd Paul Eddy, a west Oxfordshire vicar and Convenor of Anglican Orthodox said: “The bishops have wiped their hands clean of theological and moral responsibility on this.  For six years during the Living in Love & Faith process, when our nation was increasingly feeling cultural confusion over gender and identity, they remained silent.  Now, instead of standing up for the orthodox, universal Christian position, they’ve caved into cultural conformity and offered a fudge.

But the most worrying thing is that now, whilst liberal vicars will rejoice, and will soon offer such services, the LGBTI+ lobby in the church won’t be satisfied until the whole CofE officially opts-in for gay marriage.  So they will target orthodox clergy in their individual parishes, putting local and media pressure on them to bless gay unions against their conscience.  And the bishops? They will hang their clergy out to dry.”

In response to the decision, Anglican Orthodox has encouraged member clergy and other orthodox parishes to start to show what it calls ‘visible differentials’.  That includes, amongst others already published:-

  • seekingAlternative Episcopal Oversight (including confirmations/ordinations)
  • not attending, and encouraging orthodox congregationsnot to attend services/events in cathedrals/churches which offer same sex union prayers of blessing
  • only paying enough Parish Share (called ‘Ministry Costs+’),to cover agreed direct parish clergy costs, and a small contribution to vital central costs (i.e. Registry, Safeguarding, clergy housing)
  • the balance of Parish Share (probably around 25%), to be donated to aGood Stewards Trust Fund, or similar, from which orthodox parishes can ask for grants towards mission needs
  • refusing to subsidise(via Parish Share or other means), deanery parishes who support the bishops’ proposals
  • refusing to pay Parish Share duringinterregnums until the Induction/licensing of the next orthodox incumbent
  • where a diocesan bishop is seeking to promote a revisionist agenda in the diocese, using allsynodical means to scrutinise proposals, including budgetary scrutiny, and votes of ‘no confidence’

In addition, Anglican Orthodox is finalising ways to support orthodox clergy now that the proposals have been agreed.  This will include pastoral and practical support at local level for traditionalist clergy targeted by lobbyists, and media and legal backup.


For further information/interview:

Revd Paul Eddy                                 +447923 653781

Convenor, Anglican Orthodox

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