Bishop urges church to focus attention on what they support in marriage debate

Bishop Steven said today that the Church should focus its attention on emphasising what they support rather than what they are against as the marriage debate continues.



Preaching at a Mother’s Union Service in Doncaster Minster, Bishop Steven reminded his congregation that “The whole Church has a responsibility to support the institution of marriage between a man and a woman as part of the God-given ordering of human life, blessed and affirmed by Jesus Christ and also to listen and respond carefully and wisely to each of these current debates.”


But he also warned: “Our focus in public debate should not be about what we are against but about what we are for.  It is not the role of the Church to add to the burden of single parents or those whose marriages have broken down, or the gay community.”


The Bishop paid tribute to the work of the Mother’s Union in emphasising the essence of Christian marriage whilst not ignoring many of the pressures and questions raised about relationships in contemporary society.


The Mothers' Union is an international Christian charity working in 83 countries that seeks to support families worldwide. They support marriage and family life, especially through times of adversity, and tackle the most urgent needs challenging relationships and communities. Their members are not all mothers, or even all women. Mother’s Union members include single, married, parents, grandparents, or young adults just beginning to express their social conscience.


Bishop Steven offered his thanks for the work of the Mother’s Union across the Diocese.


He told his congregation that the whole debate of the future of marriage was an opportunity for the churches to teach others about Christian marriage: “If marriage is under threat in our society it is in part because people do not understand in full the vision for Christian marriage. We need to renew our commitment to teaching this part of our faith, especially to those who come to be married and who are already married.”


Bishop Steven added: “Marriage is demanding. The qualities which make a good marriage are faithfulness, endurance, perseverance and love. These are as unfashionable as they are essential.”

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