Can we disagree well over same-sex relationships? The Pilling Report and Shared Conversations DVD
In November 2013, The House of Bishops working group on human sexuality chaired by Sir Joseph Pilling, produced its report, known as the ‘Pilling Report’. This proposed a facilitated “listening process” through mediated conversations within the Church of England over a period of a couple of years.
One of the questions proposed in the Pilling Report (by the Revd. Professor Oliver O’Donovan) is whether some form of pastoral accommodation is an option to which we can subscribe? However, there appears to be no realistic expectation of achieving consensus on these matters in the foreseeable future, and so the Archbishop of Canterbury has stressed the importance of working at reaching ‘good disagreement’.
As a part of this process of consideringthe issues surrounding same sex relationships and what good disagreement might look like, the Diocese hosted conversations in Norwich Cathedral in late 2015 to address the question: “What is required of Christians on all sides of the debate about human sexuality if we are to model good disagreement?” The speakers were:
- The Revd. Canon Dr. Phil Groves, who is heading up the Continuing Indaba process for the Anglican Communion. Phil is co-author (with Angharard Parry Jones) of Living Reconciliation (SPCK 2014).
- The Revd. Dr. Frances Henderson, giving a perspective from the Church of Scotland, in which she is vice convenor of the Theological Forum.
- The Revd. Dr. Arnold Browne was Dean of Trinity College Chapel 1992-2006, and retired to the Norwich diocese. He explored biblical perspective on ‘good disagreement’.
- The Revd. Dr. Andrew Atherstone of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. Andrew is co-editor (with Revd. Dr. Andrew Goddard) of Good Disagreement? Grace and Truth in a divided Church (Lion Books 2015).
The DVD of these talks is available from the diocese at no charge with an accompanying booklet, with discussion points for use in private or group reflection. We hope these talks will help inform discussion in the parishes.