Hereford General Synod members update February 2023

Published on: 9th February 2023

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As the historic February 2023 General Synod meeting draws to a close in London, elected General Synod members from Hereford return to the diocese united in their commitment to continue the conversation and process around Living in Love and Faith.


On Thursday, The Church of England’s General Synod voted in favour of proposals which would enable same-sex couples to come to church after a civil marriage or civil partnership to give thanks, dedicate their relationship to God and receive God’s blessing..


The motion also voted to “lament and repent” of the failure of the Church to welcome LGBTQI+ people and for the harm that LGBTQI+ people have experienced – and continue to experience – in churches.


Bishop Richard explains: “It has been a long debate and there is still much detail to work through as we continue to travel this road.


“I would like to thank our Hereford General Synod members.  Despite our difference of opinion, we remain committed to this process and have worked hard this week to listen to one another.


“As has been said many times already, the Church continues to have deep differences on these questions which go to the heart of our human identity.


“I remain committed to respecting the conscience of those for whom this goes too far and equally for those who feel the proposals didn’t go far enough.  I wish to reassure those watching and listening to this debate that everyone remains welcome in our churches.”


Emily Hill, Lay representative for Hereford one of the youngest members of General Synod added:

“I respect that views are very split on this matter but I’m pleased steps are being taken to be more inclusive of people who identify as LGBTQI+


My hope is that this moment is the starts and makes the church a more attractive hopeful place for younger, more diverse groups of people, including LGBTQI+ people.”


Notes to Editors:

The full motion, as amended, put to Synod was:

That this Synod, recognising the commitment to learning and deep listening to God and to each other of the Living in Love and Faith process, and desiring with God’s help to journey together while acknowledging the different deeply held convictions within the Church: 

(a) lament and repent of the failure of the Church to be welcoming to LGBTQI+ people and the harm that LGBTQI+ people have experienced and continue to experience in the life of the Church; 

(b) recommit to our shared witness to God’s love for and acceptance of every person by continuing to embed the Pastoral Principles in our life together locally and nationally; 

(c) commend the continued learning together enabled by the Living in Love and Faith process and resources in relation to identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage;  

(d) welcome the decision of the House of Bishops to replace Issues in Human Sexuality with new pastoral guidance; 

(e) welcome the response from the College of Bishops and look forward to the House of Bishops further refining, commending and issuing the Prayers of Love and Faith described in GS 2289 and its Annexes; 

(f) invite the House of Bishops to monitor the Church’s use of and response to the Prayers of Love and Faith, once they have been commended and published, and to report back to Synod in five years’ time;

(g) endorse the decision of the College and House of Bishops not to propose any change to the doctrine of marriage, and their intention that the final version of the Prayers of Love and Faith should not be contrary to or indicative of a departure from the doctrine of the Church of England.’

Votes were recorded as follows:


Bishops 36 for, 4 against, 2 abstained

Clergy 111 for, 85 against, 3 abstained

Laity 103 for, 92 against, 5 abstained


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