Wednesday, 15 February 2017

General Synod - Speech for take note debate on the shared conversations.

Disappointed not to be called to speak at synod this evening.

Here is what I would have said :-

Mr Chairman,
Thank you for inviting me to speak on this item.

Last weekend when talking to my Scots Presbyterian mother and told her that I was here at Synod this week, she asked me "Are you talking about sex again?"

She then proceeded to tell me that the problem was due to bishops and she didn't believe in bishops. For once I almost had sympathy with her.

Seriously though her response to hearing I was going to Synod undlerlines the problem we have as a church, people think the Church of England is against the inclusion of gay people.

This is a major challange to mission. Why do we allow interest in people's intimate relationships get in the way of the people about Christ's incarnation, death and resurrection?

How many people have been put off from attending church because of a perceived over interest in the fact that they were built in a way that meant they came into a loving relationship with someone of their own sex.

This report will do nothing to change this. People have told me it puts them off attending church again, or makes them consider why they do come. It could be the last straw for many people who were looking for a better outcome from the shared conversations.

I urge Synod not to take note to send a message that they are welcome.

Finally let us remember, we are warned in the scriptures that if you turn people away from Christ it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.

With this report we are in danger of doing just that.