The Bishop of Leicester, Martyn Snow, and the Bishop of Newcastle, Helen-Ann Hartley, are to lead the next phase of the process of introducing Prayers of Love and Faith.
They will succeed the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, and Bishop of Winchester, Philip Mounstephen, as co-chairs of the group implementing the decision of Synod earlier this year on prayers asking for God’s blessing for same-sex couples.
Since 2020, Bishop Sarah has steered the Church’s response to a period of listening and learning together on questions of sexuality and marriage known as Living in Love and Faith. The initial phase of the project was led by a group chaired by the then Bishop of Coventry Christopher Cocksworth.
During that time, she oversaw the process of discernment by the Bishops which led to the development of Prayers of Love and Faith, the texts which are now being commended for use in worship.
Bishop Philip took on the role of co-chair earlier this year following the Synod debate, alongside his work chairing the Redress Scheme Board.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, said: “We would like thank Bishop Sarah for her unstinting service to the Church in bringing us to this point.
“Since 2020, she has guided this process with grace and wisdom, amid our differences as a church.
“Working more recently with Bishop Philip and a committed group of colleagues, she has led the work of implementing Synod’s decision from February 2023.
“We are also delighted that Bishop Martyn and Bishop Helen-Ann will be taking over Bishop Sarah and Bishop Philip’s roles. We pray for wisdom and guidance as they help the church navigate the way forward.”
The Bishop of Leicester, Martyn Snow, said: “I want to pay tribute to the hard work of Bishop Sarah and Bishop Philip in overseeing the work on Living in Love and Faith over the past couple of years.
“I hope that Bishop Helen-Ann and I will be able to model to the rest of the church that it is possible to work well with, and learn from, those with different views than our own as we take this work forward in this next phase.”