The Church of England has issued a supportive message to single people

The Church of England has issued a supportive message to single people
Church of England Considering Gender-Neutral Terms for God

The Church of England has said single people should be valued just as much as couples and families.

The church should “not regard [singleness] as lesser than living in a couple relationship”, the institution said in a new report, Love Matters, and pointed out that Jesus was single.

“We have an amazing opportunity to reimagine a diverse society in which all families and loving relationships are valued and strengthened, promoting the stability that enables us all to thrive in a variety of family constellations, including being single.” it said.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of people living alone in the UK increased by 8.3 per cent over the 10 years to 2021.

The report acknowledged the “growing number of people who do not live in a couple relationship or with family members”.

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The report said: “Singleness can be a deliberate choice – sometimes the right partner has not been found, and sometimes separation, divorce or death has resulted in the loss of a partner. Inevitably, singleness does not necessarily imply celibacy, although this is the choice some single people in faith communities make.

“The Commission believes strongly that single people must be valued at the heart of our society. Jesus’ own singleness should ensure that the C of E celebrates singleness and does not regard it as lesser than living in a couple relationship. Loving relationships and being able to give and receive love matter to everyone.”

It went on to say that people experience “different kinds of family or household during their lifetime: from the early years, throughout adulthood and, potentially, into old age, reflecting the greater choice we now have about how we conduct our relationships”.

While most of the children, young people and adults the commissioners spoke to defined family as close relatives, “many also described friends, work colleagues, neighbours and members of faith communities as being ‘like family’…

“To be considered as ‘family’ does not necessitate a certain type of relationship or a specific family form. What matters is the depth of the connections and the support which can always be relied upon.”

This year the church agreed to offer services of blessings to same-sex couples who have had civil marriages, but stopped short of allowing same-sex marriages.

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