A bishop dying of terminal cancer has said one of his last wishes is for the Church of England to marry same-sex couples.
Reverend John Wraw, the Bishop of Bradwell in Essex, has penned a letter to parishioners to inform them his cancer has become terminal.
As same-sex marriage has divided the Church he has worked in all his life, Wraw hopes Anglicans renew their ‘core values’.
He believes the Church of England has lost a focus on ‘commitment, fidelity, openness, trust, intimacy and indeed faithfulness’.
Wraw says same-sex relationships are ‘God-given’ and are capable as being as ‘stable, faithful and committed’ as opposite-sex relationships.
The General Synod recently narrowly voted against a recent report on homosexuality that would have seen the Church continue to oppose marriage equality.
It would also have recommended a ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ style policy, only punishing priests who break their celibacy and come out of the closet. However, the Church of England say this is not their intention.
Bishop Wraw has said this preoccupation with same-sex marriage has ‘severely weakened’ the Church’s contribution to the ‘life of the nation’.
Preoccupation with same-sex marriage has ‘weakened’ the Church
‘[There is] still a lack of pastoral understanding and care shown in public pronouncements and a lack of venturesome and creative theological reflection on the nature of relationships and the place of marriage within that,’ he said.
He called for the development of a ‘well-founded theology of relationship, friendship and marriage which I hope will lead in time to a full acceptance of same sex marriages in the Church of England.’
In his letter, the 58-year-old says he is committed to working up until his last breath for a united Church.
While Wraw says this will take time, the Church must look to recognize of ‘all that is good and wholesome’ in relationships ‘including stable, faithful, committed and God given same sex relationships.’