The Letter

To All Members of the College of Bishops

September 7th 2016

Dear Bishop

We write as Members from across the full breadth of General Synod to thank and congratulate you for what we feel were a significant few days within the life of the Synod last July.  Whilst the Shared Conversations were difficult, and at times very painful, we are grateful for the care and thought that had gone into creating as safe a space as possible for differing views to be aired, and experiences listened to.

We are particularly grateful for the way that we were encouraged to engage in Scripture together.  This enabled us to appreciate the common reverence we hold for the Word of God as well as the differing ways in which we have come to understand and interpret it.  We believe this has formed deeper understanding, trust and respect between those with whom we have differing views.

We now look to you and your colleagues within the College of Bishops to help lead us forward.

We hope that this will be with the sense of urgency and sensitivity that so many of us expressed within Synod.  In particular, we pray it will continue to develop the new “relational approach” that has enabled us to bridge our sometimes unhelpful “tribal divides”.

Whilst not wishing to pre-empt the work of the College of Bishops, we would ask that the steps that are proposed create greater clarity and consistency in our approach to this complex issue.  In particular, we are keen that the College of Bishops is unequivocal in its acknowledgement that all, including those who identify as LGBTI, are essential to the health and future of our church and mission to the wider world.

We wish you to be assured of our prayers, and know that we are fully committed to the process of encouraging greater inclusion across the Church of England for all.

Please let us know how we might best support you in this important work,

Yours in Christ