(Please note that the first three sections of this letter to the editor WERE published in the Church Times, but not the last two; it is included here with Ian’s kind permission–KSH.
From the Revd Dr Ian Paul–First, no ‘senior members’ of the group resigned. You do mention two archdeacons, who might be styled ‘senior’ in terms of ministry, but they had no seniority within the group. The committee and leadership of EGGS were unanimously agreed on the proposed changes.
Secondly, the group was in no sense ‘split’. Of those who did vote against, a number agreed with the statement, but were not sure whether the timing was right. The fact that you can name only three people who have resigned from a membership of around 140 gives some indication of how united the group was.
Thirdly, you quote Ven Gavin Collins claiming that the new statement was a ‘very narrow formulation’. In fact, as was mentioned repeatedly in the debate at which Gavin was present, the statement did nothing more than restate the current teaching of the Church of England in its canon law and liturgy, and was in line with the stated view of the Anglican Communion. It is a strange day when an archdeacon can believe that the current teaching of the Church is ‘very narrow’.
Jayne Ozanne asks ‘Who is speaking for young people?’ She might want to note that members of the group include leaders from the churches with the largest youth ministries in the Church of England, as set out in an answer given during Synod questions that immediately preceded the EGGS meeting.
The fact that the vote was so clear offered an example to the Church of people finding unity in the truth, just as Jesus prayed in John 17. Many in the Church of England are desperate to hear someone in leadership in the Church actually speak up for the Church’s understanding of marriage and sexuality, and they will be heartened to read of the clarity of the EGGS position.
Member of General Synod and the Archbishops’ Council
Ian Paul’s full letter to the Editor of the Church Times in response to the misleading previous article on some C of E #evangelicals and the #marriage statement https://t.co/5UwKzW0jt9 #anglican #theology #sex #synod #ethics #religion #uk (picture: Ian Paul) pic.twitter.com/O8DqUnUJRS
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) July 23, 2019