Church of England says single people should be valued, Jesus was single

A Church of England report released Wednesday said that single people “must be valued at the heart of our society.”

The 238-page report, titled “Love Matters,” was the third in a trilogy of major reports commissioned by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. The first addressed housing and the second examined care and support

The latest report, on families and households, reflected the church’s changing stance on singlehood and single-person households. 

The church’s report acknowledged that a growing number of people elect to be single as a result of divorce, separation, the death of a partner, not having found a suitable partner, or as a deliberate lifestyle choice. It said that loving relationships matter to single people just as much as they do to those who are married with families.

“Jesus’ own singleness should ensure that the Church of England celebrates singleness and does not regard it as lesser than living in a couple relationship,” the summary report said, adding: “We have an amazing opportunity to reimagine a diverse society in which all families and loving relationships are valued and strengthened…” 

Additionally, the report highlighted the higher risks of housing insecurity for single people who need a place to live after separation, divorce, or serving a prison sentence, calling for more suitable social housing. 

The report also acknowledged the increased sense of loneliness and stigma to which LGBTQ people, especially youth, are prone. Noting the heated debate surrounding the discussion of LGBTQ and gender issues in schools, the report took a stance: “Not teaching about these issues isolates the young people for whom this is part of their life experience.” This came after the Church of England issued a statement in January 2023 making clear that, while its churches wouldn’t offer marriages to same-sex couples, they would offer prayers and blessings. 

“Both personally and on behalf of my fellow bishops I would like to express our deep sorrow and grief at the way LGBTQI+ people and those they love have been treated by the Church which, most of all, ought to recognise everyone as precious and created in the image of God,” Stephen Cottrell, the Archbishop of York, said at the time.

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