CPAS Trustees' Statement, 11 January 2024

We know there have been concerns raised in recent days about CPAS’ position on sexuality, and, most significantly, whether CPAS is a safe and welcoming organisation for people of all sexual orientations. We want to respond to these concerns directly.

We believe that every church and residential holiday we support should be a place of welcome and a community of love for anyone who attends, no matter their belief, gender, sexual orientation or background.

In the interests of transparency, the trustees of CPAS posted a statement in February last year, updated in November, to clarify their position on the Prayers of Love and Faith. Churches within our patronage represent a broad family, holding a spectrum of convictions, and our intention was to provide clarity about the trustees’ position, namely that they hold to the doctrine of the Church of England on marriage and sexual ethics.

In the November update, we posted links to three frameworks: the CPAS Basis of Faith, Outworkings of Faith and the Evangelical Alliance’s Affirmations on Human Sexuality which was written in 2012.

On Monday 8 January, we removed the link to that 2012 version of the Evangelical Alliance’s Affirmations on Human Sexuality following concerns raised about, for example, whether some wording within the document could be interpreted as supportive of conversion therapy.

To be absolutely clear, CPAS is opposed to conversion therapy, and seeks to uphold the highest standards of safeguarding and pastoral best practice. The Evangelical Alliance has been working on producing a revised version of the document for many months, and the CPAS Trustees wrote to them last year on this matter. 

For 188 years, CPAS has existed as an evangelical Anglican mission agency, working with people from a wide range of beliefs and backgrounds so that people of all ages might come to know the good news of Jesus. We have training in place to ensure that Venture and Falcon holidays are safe, welcoming and accessible to a diversity of children and young people of any belief, race, ability, gender, sexual orientation, and financial circumstance. We provide training for church leaders which is designed to serve people from different theological positions. We work with bishops, archdeacons, elected parish representatives and a wide range of patrons to appoint a diversity of mission-minded clergy to grow local churches.  

We believe that the Christian faith is good news for everyone, and we will continue to reflect that conviction in all our ministries.