We are leaders, clergy and lay members of congregations who are followers of Jesus Christ. We are part of the Scottish Episcopal Church and therefore members of the Anglican Communion. Above all else we are parts of the Body of Christ. He is the bridegroom and we are His bride.
We are deeply concerned at the trajectory which General Synod of the SEC has now set this denomination on. We are committed to working together in prayer and action to support the many who believe it is essential that this denomination reasserts a biblical understanding of marriage, so that our relationships with the majority of other followers of Jesus around the world are maintained, our continuance in the teaching of the faith once given is retained and our counter-cultural call to holy living is proclaimed.
Our origins go back to the 4th March 2005, when the bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church released a a statement which included the following:
“The Scottish Episcopal Church has never regarded the fact that someone was in a close relationship with a member of the same sex as in itself constituting a bar to the exercise of an ordained ministry. Indeed, the Windsor Report itself in suggesting that a moratorium be placed on such persons being consecrated bishops, itself acknowledges the existence of many such relationships within the Church.”
The press, and organisations in favour of relaxing the discipline of the church in this area, took the plain meaning of the bishops’ statement: it appeared that the bishops now permitted homosexual practice for clergy. We questioned the biblical basis for this position and how we had arrived at it, as the Church had not discussed the matter in Synod. We noted too that it put our Church at odds with the position adopted by the majority of the churches of the Anglican Communion, as stated by the Bishops of the Communion in the 1998 Lambeth Resolution 1.10.
A web site was quickly created to enhance communication and we began to work out how we might respond. Three meetings with the bishops followed on the 7th April, 22nd April and 4th May, when six representatives of the Scottish Anglican Network (as we were dubbed by the press), listened to the bishops’ reasons for their statement, and they were able to hear our concerns. On the 7th June, the bishops released a second statement to the whole church. Sadly, this failed to answer many of our questions, nor convince us that the Scottish Episcopal Church had not adopted a stance which was against orthodox biblical teaching, the tradition of the ‘one holy and catholic church’, as well as the majority of the Anglican Communion.
However, the doctrine of the SEC (as defined in canon law) maintained the teaching that marriage was between a man and a woman. That changed at the General Synod which met in June 2015 decided to remove any such definition from the canons, thus paving the way for same-sex marriage.
Since 2005, we have worked hard to play a full role within the SEC and maintained a gracious dialogue with the bishops. We also participated in the listening process (known as the “Cascade Conversations”) which has led to the General Synod choosing to ignore the biblical approach to marriage, the tradition of the Church and the witness of the majority of Christians around the world today.
If you would like to support us, or find out more please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07411 236433