The Church of England will refuse to allow same-sex couples to marry in its churches under proposals put forward on Wednesday in which the century-old institution said it would stick to its teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman.

The proposals were developed by bishops, who form one of three parts of the Church’s governing body known as General Synod, after the Church of England’s six-year consultation on sexuality and marriage, among other issues, and will be presented to the General Synod. at a meeting next month.

The Church of England is central to the broader Anglican communion, which represents more than 85 million people in more than 165 countries.

“Same-sex couples would still not be able to marry in a Church of England church,” the statement said, confirming a BBC report overnight that the bishops had refused to support a change in teaching to allow priests to marry homosexual couples.

Under the proposals, same-sex couples could have a service in which there would be «prayers of dedication, thanksgiving or for God’s blessing upon the couple» in the church after a civil marriage. Gay marriage became legal in Britain in 2013.

Still, the prayers would be voluntary for clergy use and could be used in combinations «reflecting the theological diversity of the Church,» the Church of England said, implying that spiritual leaders could choose not to offer such blessings.

“I have no illusions that what we are proposing today seems to go too far for some and not far enough for others, but I hope that what we have agreed to will be received in a spirit of generosity, seeking the common good. good,» said Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Separately, Church of England bishops will issue an apology later this week to LGBTQ people for the «rejection, exclusion and hostility» they have faced in churches, according to the statement.

The Church of England, which was founded in 1534, has been divided for years over how to deal with same-sex marriage, with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer activists fighting for the same rights as straight Christians.

Seeking to address the controversial issue, Welby called on bishops last year to «abound in love for all,» even as he upheld the validity of a resolution passed in 1998 that rejected «homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture.»