Clergyman in gay marriage elected to C of E Synod

A Church of England clergyman who has entered a same-sex marriage has been elected to the General Synod.

Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern and standing for re-election to the General Synod, said the minister was seeking to undermine teaching on marriage.

Revd Andrew Foreshew-Cain legally married his partner, an atheist, in June last year.

‘No surrender’

The Church of England has said it does not permit someone in a same-sex marriage to be ordained, and would consider it inappropriate for current clergy to enter into a same-sex marriage as people in these positions need to “model the Church’s teaching in their lives”.

Writing on Twitter after his election, Revd Foreshew-Cain said he was feeling “daunted, elated & ready”. “NO SURRENDER”, he added.

However, Andrea Williams said: “Last year, Andrew Cain ignored biblical teaching and the clear instruction of the House of Bishops and entered into a same-sex ‘marriage’.”

Williams, who was a member of the Church’s General Synod from 2010–15, called for the clergyman to be removed from Church leadership.

Discrimination

Further results from the Synod elections are expected later this week.

Canon Jeremy Pemberton entered a same-sex marriage in April 2014 and also stood for election at the General Synod.

He told an employment tribunal in June that the Church of England had discriminated against him.

Marriage teaching

Canon Pemberton had his licence as a priest in Southwell and Nottingham officially revoked last year.

The Church of England has previously stressed that its teaching on marriage is clear and clergy cannot pick and choose which parts of Church doctrine they adhere to.

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