The following letter was sent to our members and mailing list on Friday 17 November 2023:
Wednesday was a significant day for the Church of England, with General Synod deciding to move towards the blessing of same-sex couples in parish churches. This innovation clearly breaks the Christian commitment to intimacy between a man and a woman in marriage as the one sexual relationship ordained by God. In response to Synod’s decision, we commend and endorse the statement made on behalf of the Church of England Evangelical Council, which can be found here.
In Birmingham, we are disappointed that Bishop Anne has publicly declared her support for such blessings and saddened that this is likely to put a strain on relationships with her. Yet we still want to deepen our faith and unity in the gospel, and to contribute positively and constructively to the life and work of the Church of England Birmingham. In this new situation we remain committed to our vision of deepening fellowship between evangelicals in the C of E Birmingham for the sake of the gospel. The furtherance of evangelical ministry within the Church of England and especially CofE Birmingham remains our aim. Indeed, its fulfilment is now even more necessary and urgent.
We want to do all that we can to work together and to support one another, not least in working out what our response should be, both now and in the future. If you have any suggestions for this, please be in touch with one of the BDEF committee. We are particularly interested in gathering clergy and/or laity who represent different types of situations to discuss how this decision might affect them and what their response should be. We want to act, not simply react, after Wednesday’s decision.
We long for a resurgence of faithfulness, and we remain confident that God is still on the throne – and pray that by his grace we may be true to our calling to be “the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).
The Birmingham Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship Committee