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Dear Friends.Kevin Bryant

This week the Lambeth Conference has been held at the University of Kent, Canterbury Cathedral and Lambeth Palace with over 600 Bishops and their wives or husbands from 165 countries of the Anglican Communion. The Conference takes place every ten years and was due to take place in 2018.

However, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, cancelled the 2018 conference because he believed that the internal division within the church was so great, it would do more harm than good! The conference was cancelled again in 2000 due to the pandemic.The worldwide Anglican church is split over the issue of same sex union with some Bishops proposing that homosexuality is declared as incompatible with scripture. Other parts of our church take a different view.

The law prevents ministers of the Church of England from carrying out same-sex marriages. And although there are no authorised services for blessing a same-sex civil marriage, a local church can still support couples with prayer.

In 2022 the Church of Scotland permitted the marriage of same sex couples. At the conference, there will be gay Bishops in attendance some of whom are married to someone of the same sex. However, Bishops are not allowed to bring their wife or husband if they are of the same sex! Out of interest, from 2021 the Methodist Church permitted same sex marriage.

Whatever your view on this matter, you will see that the Church at the highest level is in conflict, with very different points of view, which are strongly held. Like many of you, I also have strong views on the matter but would not of course attempt to impose them upon you here. I would simply say that in any week I will teach over 500 children. Collecting data on sexuality is difficult but a figure of 10% of the population being gay is usually quoted, which means I will be teaching about 50 children each week who will have same sex partners when they grow up. I can say that I care for every child I teach as does any teacher and as a Christian feel compromised by this dispute. Let us hope that the Bishops can resolve their dispute, I suspect we need to pray for them.

© Kevin Bryant, Reader.