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The Church of England is resisting calls to change its teaching that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman.

The decision prompted cries of outrage among pro-LGBT Christians not convinced by the assertion it was just “the beginning of the process”.

After more than two years of private talks at all levels of the Church hierarchy, the bishops said there “are no proposals” to change the doctrine on marriage.

The House of Bishops report said there was “little support” for changing the Church’s teaching on marriage.

It also said all potential clergy – straight and gay – will be asked about their sexual conduct and will face the same questions about their lifestyle.

New teachings on marriage and relationships should also be drawn up to replace those introduced in the 1990s, it suggests.

Bishops have met four times since last July, when the two-year process of “shared conversations” on sexuality ended. Their report will be discussed at February’s synod but no vote will be taken on its content.

At a press conference today, Graham James, Bishop of Norwich said, “The church should not adapt its doctrine to the fashions of any particular time.

“This is no last word on this subject. For there are very different views on same sex relationships within the Church, and within the House of Bishops, mainly based on different understandings of how to read scripture,” he added.

Jayne Ozanne, a prominent campaigner for equality within the C of E, said the report was “unbelievable, unacceptable and ungodly”.

“Being nice to us whilst hitting us is still abuse,” she said, adding: “The nation will look on incredulous, and yet again will recoil from a church that fails to show love or understanding to those it has constantly marginalised and victimised.”


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