Rico Tice leaves Church of England over same-sex blessings

Rico Tice

Respected evangelist Rico Tice has left the Church of England over its decision to introduce blessings for same-sex couples. 

Tice, who co-created the Christianity Explored course, told Evangelicals Now that he left after failing to receive a satisfactory answer from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, about the concerns of evangelicals towards the Prayers of Love and Faith

"We called upon the archbishop to resist the influence of cultural values when they are in opposition to those of the Bible, and did this because it was harming our ability to work with orthodox people from other denominations – how could they trust us? We received no substantive response from him, and that was a key moment in my decision to leave," he said. 

Tice is a leading evangelical voice and spent many years as associate minister at All Souls Church, Langham Place, in London, the church of the late evangelist John Stott. He now worships at the International Presbyterian Church (IPC), Ealing.

He has retained his permission to preach so that he can continue to speak in Church of England churches but said it was "vital" that he demonstrate a "clear separation from a church that no longer affirms Biblical orthodoxy, especially with regard to preaching repentance". 

Asked whether he might ever rejoin the Church of England, he suggested there would be no thought of returning so long as the CofE remains on its current course. 

"In one sense I have never left, for I consider myself a cradle-to-grave Anglican and I remain deeply committed to the Global South model of world Anglicanism. But the sad fact is that the Church of England has left Anglicanism," he said. 

"For me the present situation is utterly heartbreaking. In retrospect I was naïve about our current culture in the Church of England, because I never thought I would see such a clear, pervasive denial of the Christian's need to repent of each and every sin they commit."

More on this topic: 

The future for evangelicals in the Church of England

Prayers of Love and Faith and the dilemma facing the House of Bishops 

Bishops' Prayers of Love and Faith lead lost souls further from Christ