Thursday, 2 February 2012

London Clergy sign letter about Civil Partnership

More than one hundred clergy in the diocese of London have put their names to a letter asking that, just as  the Church of England allow priests to conduct civil partnerships if they so wish. They are asking that clergy should be allowed to exercise discretion and act on their conscience in this matter, just as they can choose whether or not to remarry divorcees. It is heartening to see so many clergy signing this letter, and it may make the current position, which I believe is that they are unwilling to allow the matter to even go before Synod, to be less tenable.
The response of the Bishop of London, Richard Chartes is to recognise that this "arises from a proper pastoral concern and it is right that it continues to be discussed openly", while still asking for prayerful and respectful debate, something which is entirely appropriate and not discouraging. It is worth noting that the Church's current position is not only that civil partnerships cannot be conducted on Church premises, but the Church of England does not officially carry out blessings of civil partnerships.


  1. I notice Mr Chartres believes the "unity of the Church" is far more important than the immortal souls of our gay friends.

  2. I suppose Chartres might say that there is no causal between opposing civil partnerships in church and imperiling the souls of LGBT folk?( I assume you are arguing that the danger to the immortal souls of gay people is that some LGBT people might be dissuaded from seeking a faith if the Church is unwelcoming?)
    To be fair to Chartres, he is in a difficult position - not wanting to seem unsupportive of so many of his clergy and yet not wanting to give the green light to what some might fear will cause further dissent and bad publicity for the church.