Gay blessings are a 'lose-lose position for everyone in the Church of England'

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The Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) says it is "deeply saddened and profoundly grieved" by the General Synod's decision to back blessings for same-sex couples.

After Thursday's vote, bishops will work on the draft 'Prayers for Love and Faith' before bringing them back before the July General Synod. 

The vote was met with dismay by traditionalist Anglicans, including many around the Global South.

In a statement, the CEEC said that the decision had "settled nothing" and "only served to deepen divisions and cause deeper hurt".

"The Church of England now appears set on a course of action that rejects our historic and biblical understanding of sex and marriage, by departing from the apostolic faith we are called to uphold," it said.

"This decision will be extremely distressing for evangelicals in this country today, as they consider the impact of the decision on their ministry and as they continue to contend for Jesus in their local contexts." 

The CEEC went on to say the outcome appeared to be "a lose-lose position for everyone in the Church of England".

"Those of us who have been trying to uphold the historic and biblical understanding of marriage and singleness say change has gone too far. This decision has settled nothing and has only served to deepen divisions and cause deeper hurt," it said.

The CEEC concluded by saying that it would now work towards a new structure for evangelicals within the Church of England.

"We will continue to work alongside evangelicals across the country, who today share our sense of great sadness and dismay, to contend for biblical faithfulness and to live lives that Jesus has called us to," it said.

"We are grateful that several speakers noted the need for some kind of settlement, though this would need to be without theological compromise.

"We believe that putting in place new imaginative structures, 'good differentiation', is the only way we are going to be able to reach a settled outcome, that maintains the highest degree of unity possible within the Church of England and the Anglican Communion."