Prayers of Love and Faith


Last week was a momentous one in the long-running civil war over same-sex relationships in the Church of England. Just like in February, a session of the General Synod – the church’s elected parliament – was almost entirely focused on scrutinising the bishops’ plans to offer formal services of blessing for gay couples in church. The lengthy and at times torturous debate offered a window into a church bitterly divided, almost 50-50 before liberals and conservatives, and how the country’s largest denomination is still trying to tease out a way of reconciling these two, perhaps irreconcilable, groups.
This week’s episode goes inside the synod debate over three days, and then we hear from representatives from each side on how they react to the ultimate vote in favour of the plans for same-sex blessings.

Guests this week:

- Ed Shaw, pastor at Emmanuel Church, Bristol, and ministry director of celibate same-sex attracted evangelical charity Living Out
- Helen King, historian and prominent progressive Synod member
- The Bishop of Lancaster, Jill Duff
- Neil Patterson, Anglican priest, and chair of the Synod gender and sexuality group
- John Dunnett, national director of the Church of England Evangelical Council

Released on 17 Nov 2023

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