The Catholic Bishop of Shrewsbury says the recent signing into law of equal marriage for England and Wales doesn’t change Christian teaching on marriage and sexual morality.

Marriage will remain as a life-long union of a man and a woman in the eyes of Christianity, the Rt Rev Mark Davies has said.

His comments were made in a letter to congregations in Cheshire, Shropshire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Derbyshire on Sunday.

As Archbishop Nichols reminds us, in contrast to the new law, Christian teaching holds that marriage is a life-long faithful union of a man and a woman, ordained by God for the creation of the family and future generations,” Bishop Davies said.

“Marriage is the place where sexual relations find their proper place and God-given purpose. It would be hard to over-estimate in these respects the importance of marriage for human well-being and our ultimate good.”

He added: “It is surely when foundations are shaken, the ground taken from beneath our feet that we give renewed attention to the basis on which our future must be built … Blessed John Paul II often reminded us that our witness to the truth of the Gospel has a value, not only for the present time, but for all generations to come.

“We look forward to the day when our society re-discovers its Christian roots and the authentic value of marriage as the foundation of the family … I have no doubt that through such witness … the Christian foundations increasingly discarded by the leaders of our society, will be discovered anew.”

In February, Bishop Davies suggested marriage equality was a “passing ideology” and its supporters were on the “wrong side of eternity”.

Last year he used his Christmas mass to liken equal marriage to other “inhuman ideologies” such as Nazism.