Bishop speaks up for marriage

Bishop of Sheffield Steven Croft
Bishop of Sheffield Steven Croft

THE Bishop of Sheffield has spoken up for the institution of marriage, urging the Church to focus on what it is in favour of, rather than what it is against.

Preaching at a Mothers’ Union Service, Dr Steven Croft said: “The whole Church has a responsibility to support the institution of marriage between a man and a woman as part of the God-given ordering of human life, blessed and affirmed by Jesus Christ and also to listen and respond carefully and wisely to each of these current debates.”

But he warned: “Our focus in public debate should not be about what we are against, but about what we are for.

“It is not the role of the Church to add to the burden of single parents or those whose marriages have broken down, or the gay community.”

The Bishop paid tribute to the work of the Mother’s Union in emphasising the essence of Christian marriage while not ignoring many of the pressures and questions raised about relationships in contemporary society.

At Doncaster Minster, he said the whole debate of the future of marriage was an opportunity for churches to teach others about Christian marriage.

“Marriage is demanding. The qualities which make a good marriage are faithfulness, endurance, perseverance and love. These are as unfashionable as they are essential.”