The new head of the Anglican Church in Australia says the church will not advocate for changes to allow same sex marriage.

The Anglican Church will continue to walk the line between scripture and community attitudes on same sex marriage, the new head of the Australian church says.

The new Anglican primate, the head of the church in Australia, says the church is not advocating for changes to the marriage act.

“The church in Australia has walked between the views that it’s received, which come from scripture, come from the traditions of the church, and the consideration that there is no place for vilification or rejection of people on the basis of their same sex attractedness,” Archbishop Philip Freier told reporters on Wednesday.

Archbishop Freier also said the church would look at ways to make sure it remained relevant to younger people.

“It only needs the passing of less than a generation (for a church to disappear),” he said.

“(But) the church has had to face that in every generation.”

At a joint press conference with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the pair called on violence in Iraq and Syria to end.

Archbishop Freier said he had written to Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Immigration Minister Scott Morrison asking them to offer asylum to thousands of Christians fleeing violence in Iraq.

“I’m optimistic they will respond compassionately to that need,” he said.

Archbishop Freier was raised as the son of an Anglican father and Catholic mother, and became involved in the church as an adult while teaching in a remote Aboriginal community in Queensland.