Can the GSFA help the CofE bishops tell right from wrong?

Jun 15, 2024 by

from Anglican Futures:

Church of England bishops are not known for their transparency – but sometimes there is a rare glimmer of honesty, particularly when a journalist is prepared to ask the right question.

This week, Dave Piper, a radio journalist, used Facebook to ask Rt Revd Martyn Snow, the Bishop of Leicester a simple question and wonderfully he received an honest answer.

But first, some context: it is generally recognised that Bishop Martyn, pulled the short straw when he accepted the role of Co-Lead Bishop for the Living in Love and Faith process, and that it got even shorter when a few weeks later, his Co-Lead Bishop, Rt Revd Helen-Ann Hartley stood down. 

Yet, he remains unswervingly positive.

In a piece he wrote for the Church of England Newspaper, Snow outlined the idea of creating, “Three spaces within one Church,” to provide for those with different theological convictions on whether the church should bless same-sex relationships. He was even hopeful that porous-but-firm, well-defined-but-flexible boundaries could somehow be created between these spaces, which would thus allow both freedom of conscience for all and an expression of the unity of the body of Christ. 

It is not clear whether the decision to create three spaces, rather than two, was to avoid a divisive ‘binary’ approach to managing disagreement, or if it was a nod to the commonly held misconception that the unity and diversity of the Trinity is a model for good disagreement.  As if the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have ever disagreed about anything!

Whatever the reason, Bishop Martyn is clear that he wants to prioritise the unity of the Body of Christ, because, while he concedes that contending for doctrine is important, “unity matters – it really matters.”   

Wishing to share the article widely, Bishop Martyn posted it on his Facebook page, and to his credit, he also responded to some of the questions he was asked, including one from Dave Piper.

Read here

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