The Synod of the Church of England set to bless same-sex couples following hours of debate. However, the Church is not allowed to join them in holy matrimony.
On Wednesday, 8th of February, the Church of England Synod members met to discuss proposals for a same-sex relationship. After over eight hours of dragging back and forth in debate, a motion was passed across the three houses of Synod – The House of Bishops, The House of Clergy, and The House of Laity.
The House of Bishops voted 36 for and four against with two absent, The House of Clergy voted 111 for and 85 against with three absent, and The House of Laity voted 103 for and 92 against with five absent. The votes pointed out that the Church of England can allow the blessing of same-sex couples, though the Church is not authorized to join the relationship in marriage.
According to the new plans set by the Legislative arm of the Church, new prayers will be prepared and given to church leaders who would like to acknowledge same-sex couples. The Church of England’s doctrine on marriage stands, following the one man one wife standard.
The LGBT services are to commence after new pastoral guidance is drafted out by the House of Bishops.
In a statement by the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, to Premium Christian News, he said; although there’s still “work to be done,” the decision today puts the Church of England “in a new place”.
“I know many people will be disturbed by this decision. But I also think many, many people will be very, very happy with this decision. And particularly couples who live such faithful lives. Their lives, evidence, and all the goodness that I would expect from a committed Christian relationship.
“But no, it’s not going to happen tomorrow, there’s still a bit more work to be done. And we need to receive some pastoral guidance about how it’s going to be done. But today was obviously a key decision. And I’m pleased that the General Synod in all of its houses gave support to this.”
Mixed feelings took over the attendees of the meeting following the decision made by the Synod members.