The Church of England has said that they might consider updating their doctrine of marriage to welcome same-sex couples.
This was revealed in a recent letter to leading gay rights campaigner Jayne Ozanne, in which the Archbishop of York said that the church’s teachings on sexuality was a “matter of discussion” in closed meetings.
However, according to Dr John Sentamu who was speaking on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury, stressed that “the outcome of these conversations is not yet known.”
So, sadly, nothing is yet set in stone. But Sentamu also took the chance in letter to reiterate Justin Welby’s apology to LGBT people, as well as to talk a little about how far they have come as a church.
Many have taken this letter to mean that the Church of England are reconsidering their stance on marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Of course, we know that there is some disagreement within the church on this matter, as Sentamu himself discussed last month.
“The Christian doctrine of marriage continues to be a subject of discord, but the rejection of homophobic prejudice is undisputed. The Primates were also unanimous in their desire to continue walking together, despite their disagreements.”
It seems that the Archbishop of Cantebury is keen to heal these rifts within the church by having “facilitated conversations”. This was also shown in the letter by the Archbishop of York, who hoped that these “task groups” would “help to heal the pain and rebuild mutual trust.”
The Bishop of Buckingham, Alan Wilson, said: “I would hope very strongly that the conversations would open doors in people’s minds and hearts towards one another. I think a particularly interesting door to open in hearts would be to understand why this is a non-issue for the vast majority of people in Britain today.”
So, while nothing is conclusive, there is definitely some hope – even if it’s only a small flicker.