Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
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Archbishops set out way forward after Synod defeat

Fri 17 Feb 2017
By Aaron James

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have been setting out how the Church of England will respond following a vote to throw out a report regarding same-sex marriage.

It's after a House of Bishops report, affirming marriage should be between a man and woman but also affording "maximum freedom" for gay couples, was rejected by the General Synod governing body.

Both traditionalists and revisionists felt the document didn't go far enough, with some campaigning for same-sex marriage and others calling for stronger discipline against homosexual activity.

Most Rev Justin Welby and Dr John Sentamu have announced in a letter that bishops will be meeting with Synod members in their dioceses to have an "extended conversation" establishing the viewpoints of members.

The archbishops will themselves also be setting up a pastoral oversight group led by the Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Rev Christine Hardman, which will support and offer advice on the Church's approach to human sexuality.

The Church of England will also be creating proposals for a "large scale teaching document" around the issue of human sexuality - saying it will have a "wide ranging and fully inclusive approach, both in subject matter and in those who work on it".

A general debate on the issue will also be suggested.

Welby and Sentamu wrote: "To deal with that disagreement and to find ways forward, we need a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church," they wrote.

"This must be founded in scripture, in reason, in tradition, in theology and the Christian faith as the Church of England has received it; it must be based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and in a proper 21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual."

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