‘Nothing special about marriage’, says C of E report

May 10, 2023

The Church of England has been accused of abandoning marriage by claiming it is no better than cohabitation for family life.

The claim comes in a major new report from the Archbishops’ Commission on Families and Households called ‘Love Matters’. The report summary states that “the quality of family relationships matters more than the form a family takes”. In a section headed ‘Celebrating Diversity in Family Life’, one of the key messages is that: “It is critical to recognise and value all kinds of loving couple relationships.”

The Commission Chair Janet Walker told Premier Christian News: “What we want to get across as a message in this report, is that any relationship, including a Christian marriage, that is committed and loving is just wonderful for people to flourish, at the same time saying that that doesn’t mean that other kinds of relationships are any lesser if they are committed and loving.”

The Marriage Foundation’s Harry Benson slammed the report as a “capitulation to the times in which we live” and damning marriage with “faint praise”. There is not “a single mention of the relative stability and advantage that being married brings compared to not being married”, he said.

Coming amid the national Church’s plans to bless individuals in same-sex relationships, the simultaneous abandonment of the gold standard of marriage in favour of “celebrating diversity in family life” shows once again that when real marriage is jettisoned in favour of a counterfeit, it’s never long before marriage itself is sidelined.

The C of E’s slow surrender over marriage to the spirit of the age is painful to watch. At C4M, we urge the Church’s leaders to return to its time-honoured historic teaching, which bears the wisdom of the ages. Modern research confirms what ancient people understood, that marriage between a man and a woman is what families need to have the best chance to thrive. Nobody benefits when we pretend otherwise.