Photo Credit: Church in Wales
The Bishops of the Church in Wales (CiW) will explore formal provision for same-sex couples in church after a debate yesterday in the Province’s Governing Body. Members of the Governing Body – the Church in Wales’ synod – agreed that “it is pastorally unsustainable for the Church to make no formal provision for those in same-gender relationships.” Following the vote, a CiW spokeswoman said that bishops will now consider “new approaches which could be brought back to the Governing Body for approval at a later date.”
In June 2017, the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) changed its canon law to remove the definition that marriage is between a man and a woman; paving the way for same-sex marriage in Scottish Anglican churches. In October last year, the Primus of the SEC, Bishop Mark Strange, told fellow Anglican Primates’ that he recognised the Church would now face the same consequences that were placed on the US-based Episcopal Church the previous January.
Ahead of yesterday’s debate, Bishop Strange addressed the CiW Governing Body and explained the process that the SEC had followed in reaching its decision .This was followed by a question session with Bishop Mark and an open discussion before a vote on the proposition.
“The bishops are united in the belief that it is pastorally unsustainable and unjust for the Church to continue to make no formal provision for those in committed same-sex relationships,” the Primate of the Church in Wales, Archbishop John Davies, said. “Although today’s outcome does not change the present doctrine or practice of the Church in Wales on marriage, I am pleased that it provides an important steer to the bishops in exercising our ministry of pastoral care and spiritual leadership.”