Church in Wales moves to implement same-sex marriage blessings

The Church in Wales is considering introducing same-sex marriage blessings in its services, after Bishops proposed radical changes to the Book of Common Prayer.

Presenting the change to its Governing Body, the Bench of Bishops said: “We believe that same-sex relationships can be understood in a radically different way, and that the teaching of Scripture should therefore be re-interrogated.”

Responding to the announcement, The Christian Institute’s Ciarán Kelly said the Bishops had got their decision-making “the wrong way round”.

Marriage change

If approved, same-sex couples who are already legally married or in a civil partnership will be able to receive a blessing from a willing Church in Wales minister.

The Bench said the decision was brought on by considering “new social, scientific and psychological understandings of sexuality in the last one and a half centuries”.

It added that it would affirm “loving and faithful” same-sex partnerships as “worthy of acceptance by the Church by asking God’s blessing upon their commitment”.

The Bench went on to say that the Governing Body would “have to consider whether it wishes to consider a change in the Church’s teaching concerning marriage” in the future.

‘Wrong way round’

The proposals are open to amendment until the next meeting of the Governing Body in September. If passed, same-sex blessings could begin the following month.

The Christian Institute’s Ciarán Kelly said: “The Bishops have got this all the wrong way round.

“It is for the Bible to tell us how to understand human relationships, not for us to reinterpret the Bible according to the fleeting thinking of the day.

“Marriage is between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others and for life. The Church in Wales needs to abandon this course of action and return to Scripture.”

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