Around 100 Anglican churches want to explore registering their buildings to offer Civil Partnerships if the Church of England would allow it, a survey by the LGB&T Anglican Coalition has revealed.
The news that 95 churches indicated their interest in registering partnerships between gay couples, comes as the government changes its stance on the use of religious buildings for the ceremonies.
And campaigners claim it demonstrates a gap in thinking between parish churches, and the Anglican hierarchy.
Canon Giles Goddard, a member of the Coalition and Chair of Inclusive Church said, “The 95 churches we have identified are the tip of the iceberg. Patience with the Church of England is wearing thin among lesbian and gay Anglicans and their friends and families.
“The church needs to learn to become inclusive and welcoming to all. We hope that measures will soon be taken so that individual parishes can opt into offering blessings and legal ceremonies.”
The House of Bishops has begun a review of Church policy on Civil Partnerships however, under the leadership of The Bishop of Sodor and Man, The Rt Rev Robert Paterson. Alongside considering whether clergy in Civil Partnerships can be appointed as Bishops, it is also expected to update church policy in the light of recent changes in legislation.
And this news comes after it emerged that the Dean of St Albans, Dr Jeffrey John, the Church of England's most high profile openly gay priest, is reportedly considering suing the church of England, after being blocked from becoming a Bishop, because he is in a gay relationship.
Dr John, 58, entered a civil partnership with another priest in 2006. Lawyers are reported to have claimed that blocking him from appointment to Bishop because of his sexuality, breaches equality laws.
Since Civil Partnerships began in 2005, over 47,000 have been registered, and according to the LGB&T Anglican Coalition, there is now growing evidence that many couples want to register their partnerships in a church or other religious context.
January 16th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross