The Bishop of Salisbury has today given his backing to same-sex marriages.

Nick Holtam wrote that same-sex marriage “embodies a commitment to be faithful, loving, and lifelong. These are virtues which the Church of England wants to see maximised in society”.

His statement comes a day after the Archbishop of Canterbury signalled that the church’s opposition to same-sex marriage was over.

Last year the Pilling Report recommended the church adopt a more conciliatory approach to same-sex marriages, but the House of Bishops refused to back formal blessings, and forbade gay clergy from marrying.

The Bishop of Buckingham Alan Wilson today wrote in support of same-sex marriages for PinkNews.co.uk, saying: “I look forward to the day when these vows can be made in Church.”

In a separate statement, he urged gay clergy currently planning to defy orders by marrying to be “creative” in doing so.

Wilson also signalled that he is not deterred by the ban on blessings, saying: “If I am approached by a gay couple, I think it perfectly possible to devise something with them which is as appropriate as it can be in the present confused situation. You can pray with people pastorally but you can’t use the ‘B’ word.”