…we might be able to glean some clues as to what was agreed, and what is being planned, by looking at communications sent by Bishops in response to letters sent in by clergy and laity expressing concern about the Pilling Report. Here is an extract from one such letter, from a senior Bishop to one of his clergy:
We’re entering a period of discussion. It starts with the House of Bishops meeting this week and goes on to the College of Bishops in January. Each diocese will also be formulating its own way of pursuing the conversation. We can’t pretend there’s no conversation to have; the Church of England has many mansions and we need to step out of our own mansion and entrust our thinking to one other.
So here it is. We will be entering the period of “indaba” ”“ or “facilitated conversation” advocated by the Pilling Report, and it will be done Diocese by Diocese, much as the discussions on women Bishops took place (see below). The vital subject of Christian teaching about sex and relationships will be decided by focus groups….