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Resolution 34 - Marriage and Family

Resolution 34

Marriage and Family

This Conference:

1. Reaffirming the 1978 Lambeth statement on marriage and the family, calls the Churches of the Anglican Communion to ministries that prepare couples for marriage, sustain them throughout their lives together with the spiritual, pastoral, and community life of the Church and, in the face of increasing stresses, encourage and support them with the resources of the Church as an extended family.

2. Recognises that the same range of pressures no less affect clergy marriages and families and recommends that each diocese identify some means of providing confidential counselling and support services for clergy families; 3. Noting the gap between traditional Christian teaching on pre-marital sex, and the life-styles being adopted by many people today, both within and outside the Church:

(a) calls on provinces and dioceses to adopt a caring and pastoral attitude to such people; (b) reaffirms the traditional biblical teaching that sexual intercourse is an act of total commitment which belongs properly within a permanent married relationship; (c) in response to the International Conference of Young Anglicans in Belfast, urges provinces and dioceses to plan with young people programmes to explore issues such as pre-marital sex in the light of traditional Christian values.

4. Recognising the political, economic and social pressures on family life: (a) affirms the family in its various forms, as the fundamental institution of human community; (b) calls our Churches to the development of support systems for families at every level within the Church and to the advocacy of public policies supportive of family life; (c) commends in particular the developing Family Network inaugurated by the Anglican Consultative Council and encourages participation in the continuing educational and pastoral work of the Network; (d) recognises that these pressures serve to diminish the economic wellbeing and status of women, welcomes the World Council of Churches "Decade for Solidarity with Women," and encourages dioceses to consider how they might through their theological, structural and pastoral approaches help to achieve a fuller recognition of the contribution and status of women in the Church and society.

5. Affirms that effective ministries to families and to individuals, who are thereby enabled to experience the Church as an extended family, are signs of life and hope and are central to evangelism that proclaims and models the oneness that Christ wills for all people.

Ecumenical Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women (1988-1998) - Anglican Communion International Anglican Family Network (See further paras 127-152 of the Report on "Christianity and the Social Order.")