'Go in confidence,' Justin Welby tells Synod after sexuality conversations


The Archbishop of Canterbury has urged the Church of England to "go in confidence" after the conclusion of its "shared conversations" on human sexuality.

The conversations, which took place during the last two years, came to a conclusion at the General Synod meeting in York, with small groups meeting in private and synod members urged to stay off social media.

A handful of conservative evangelicals opposed to any compromise with homosexuality boycotted the talks. Most evangelicals and many on the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Church remain resolutely opposed to accepting the validity of same-sex relationships. The issue has also come close to splitting the Anglican Communion, with conservative Churches particularly in Africa seeing it as a test of biblical orthodoxy. The Episcopal Church in the US remains suspended from the Communion because of its backing for same-sex marriage.

In a statement, the Church said: "It is our hope that what has been learned through the relationships developed will inform the way the church conducts whatever further formal discussions may be necessary in the future. It is our prayer that the manner in which we express our different views and deep disagreements will bear witness to Jesus who calls us to love as he has loved us."

Justin Welby said to the synod: "At the heart of it is to come back to the fact that together we seek to serve the God who raised Jesus Christ from the dead and in whom there is never despair, there is never defeat; there is always hope, there is always overcoming; there is always eventual triumph, holiness, goodness and grace.

"That is for me what I always come back to when it all seems overwhelming.

"Thank you so much for your participation. Let us go in confidence. Confident in the God who raised Jesus Christ from the dead."