An acting troupe will perform a play about gay Christians for the world's Anglican bishops gathering this week in Canterbury, England.

The play, "Seven Passages," critically examines Bible verses about homosexuality.

The Western Michigan University ensemble will present it Wednesday and Thursday at the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference, The Grand Rapids Press reported. Attendance is optional for the 650 bishops expected to be at the conference.

The performances coincide with the bishops' discussions of sexuality, an issue that has splintered the 77 million-member Anglican Communion.

This year's conference is the first since the 2003 consecration of the only openly gay Episcopal bishop, the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. The Episcopal Church is the Anglican body in the U.S.

For theological conservatives, Robinson's elevation was the final straw in the long-running debate over Scripture. They have been threatening to break away ever since.