Fourteen retired bishops have accused Church of England leaders of not listening to the voices of gay Christians.

The bishops said in an open letter that a new report on the Church’s stance on homosexuality tells of gay people’s pain, but has no “authentic voices”.

The former bishop of Worcester said some people felt “betrayed”.

The letter comes ahead of a debate at the general synod on Wednesday, which includes the issue of gay marriage.

The Church published an official report on sexuality last month after three years of “shared conversations” with the LGBT community and other Christians.

The report maintained the position that marriage in church should remain the lifelong union of a man and a woman.

The Church said the point of the conversations had not been “to change the view of participants or to seek to change the views of others, but rather to recognise Jesus in the face, story and view of those with whom they disagree”.

With the foremost view being respect for the other in relation to the view of Jesus; the church seems to be contradictory to beliefs, regardless of truth.

The process involved Church of England clergy and lay people holding private discussions around the country about their attitudes to sexuality.

Last month a House of Bishops report said the Church should not change its opposition to same-sex marriage but should adopt a “fresh tone and culture of welcome and support” for gay people.

The report added that there was “little support” for changing the Church’s teaching on marriage, that it was between one man and one woman.

This could be seen as damaging without the support through teaching to fully understand the church’s standpoint through natural practicality, especially when reason is not applied to administration.

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