Terminally ill bishop calls for ‘full acceptance’ of same-sex marriage

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A Church of England bishop who has terminal cancer has urged his colleagues to move towards embracing equal marriage.

The Right Reverand John Wraw, Suffragan Bishop of Bradwell in Essex, revealed in a letter to his parishioners this month that after three years of battling multiple myeloma, his diagnosis is now considered terminal.

In the letter, the Bishop explains that he “does not intend to step down as Bishop of Bradwell in the immediate future” and will remain in the post as long as possible.

He also used the letter to rally for inclusivity in the church, calling on his colleagues to move towards a “full acceptance of same sex marriages” over time.

The Bishop wrote: “The changes to attitude over the last 50 years towards those who do not fall into traditional binary categories of heterosexual
relationships has only been for the good. ”

Noting that a conservative report on LGBT issues was rejected at the Church’s General Synod, he added: “There are very differing views on this within the Church of England and across the Anglican Communion, but there is much more we hold in common.

“I have no desire to criticise my fellow Bishops (…) however, there is still a lack of pastoral understanding and care shown in public pronouncements [on] the nature of relationships and the place of marriage within that.

“More time does need to be given to 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.

“That will take time. However, that should not hold us back in the immediate from proper recognition through prayers, blessing, celebration and affirmation of all that is good and wholesome in a wide variety of relationships including stable, faithful, committed and God given same sex relationships.”

According to the BBC, he added that the Church had got the debate “wrong” on the issue.

He said: “Gender is a secondary issue… what is much more more important is the nature of the relationship we have with one another.

“What I want us to do is to affirm good relationship, depth of relationship, wherever and however it might arise.”