We as Archbishops, alongside the bishops of the Church of England, apologise and take responsibility for releasing a statement last week which we acknowledge has jeopardised trust. We are very sorry and recognise the division and hurt this has caused.
At our meeting of the College of Bishops of the Church of England this week we continued our commitment to the Living in Love and Faith project which is about questions of human identity, sexuality and marriage. This process is intended to help us all to build bridges that will enable the difficult conversations that are necessary as, together, we discern the way forward for the Church of England.
Message from Bishop Peter and Bishop Ruth in response to the statement on civil partnerships from the House of Bishops
We are very acutely aware that the release of the statement from the House of Bishops last week has caused a great deal of hurt and pain. We are deeply sorry for this.
This week the College of Bishops has been meeting to consider further work on Living in Love and Faith, which is exploring ways to help the Church respond to issues of human sexuality. Releasing a statement without any of the context provided by those discussions was not only unhelpful, but hurtful to all those affected by the deeply human issues raised in these conversations.
We have talked together about this today and we commit ourselves to learning to communicate better, to listening well, and to being more sensitive to the needs of others in all that we say and do. Our diocesan vision is to live and tell the story of God’s love for the world and it is very much our hope and prayer that Living in Love and Faith will help us to do that.
Rt Revd Peter Hancock, Bishop of Bath and Wells and Rt Revd Ruth Worsley, Bishop of Taunton.