The Church of England will explore the use of gender-neutral terms to refer to God in prayers but says there are no plans to abolish current services. Source: ABC News.
“Christians have recognised since ancient times that God is neither male nor female,” a spokesman for the Church said.
“Yet the variety of ways of addressing and describing God found in scripture has not always been reflected in our worship.”
But he added that there were “absolutely no plans to abolish or substantially revise” authorised services and that no changes could be made without “extensive legislation”.
The comments follow an exchange in the General Synod, the Church’s governing body, where a priest asked about developing more inclusive language in authorised forms of worship and sought options for those who wish to speak of God in a “non-gendered way”.
The spokesperson said there had been greater interest in exploring new language since the introduction of its forms of service in contemporary language more than 20 years ago.
Bishop Michael Ipgrave, vice chairman of the Church’s liturgical commission, said the Church had been “exploring the use of gendered language in relation to God for several years”.
Same-sex couples will be able to have a church service with prayers of God’s blessing after they have a civil wedding or register a civil partnership.
The Church’s Faith and Order Commission – which advises on theology – will work with the liturgical commission on questions around gender terms, the spokesperson said.
Church of England explores using gender-neutral terminology to refer to God in prayer (ABC News)
Church of England to consider use of gender-neutral terms for God (The Guardian)