11 February 2004
The Church of England tonight said that the Church's policy on gay relationships remained completely unchanged, following the General Synod's debate this afternoon, 11 February. The outcome of the debate was that the book, "Some Issues in Human Sexuality; a guide to the debate," was commended for study in the Church. The Bishop of Oxford's opening remarks to the Synod said that the study guide which was the subject of this afternoon's debate: "does not set out to change the position of the House of Bishops."
General Synod's Secretary-General, William Fittall, said:
"What the Church committed itself to was a well informed debate. There were no policy proposals before the Synod today, simply material, which the Synod welcomed, to support that debate.
"This is a process with no pre-set outcome. The Church's present policy against blessing gay relationships or ordaining people in same sex relationships has not changed.
"The mood of the Synod today was that it wanted to debate these issues openly and sensitively, and Synod achieved that. What many speakers also acknowledged was that the Synod today encouraged debate to take place more widely in the Church. We must allow that to take place and not pre-judge it."